Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that a federal grand jury in New Haven has returned an indictment charging MIGUEL RIVERA, also known as “Macho,” 30, of Shelton, with possessing a firearm and ammunition while released on bond and awaiting trial in another federal case involving the alleged unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition.
The indictment was returned on September 27, 2022. Rivera appeared today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Maria E. Garcia in New Haven and pleaded not guilty. He has been detained since July 13, 2022.
As alleged in court documents and statements made in court, on July 5, 2020, Rivera possessed a Romarm/Cugir, AK Type Model, 7.62 x 39mm caliber, semi-automatic rifle containing a fully-loaded large capacity 30-round magazine.
It is alleged that Rivera’s criminal history includes convictions for felony firearm, robbery and burglary offenses. It is a violation of federal law for a person previously convicted of a felony offense to possess a firearm or ammunition that has moved in interstate or foreign commerce.
On September 22, 2020, Rivera was charged by indictment with one count of unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon. He arrested on November 9, 2020, and was released on a $100,000 bond.
The new indictment alleges that, on June 21, 2022, while he was awaiting trial in his initial federal case, Rivera unlawfully possessed a Krieghoff K80 12-gauge shotgun, approximately 50 rounds shotgun ammunition, and approximately 26 rounds of 9mm ammunition.
The indictment charges Rivera with one count of unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition by a felon, and committing the offense while on pretrial release. If convicted, he faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.
U.S. Attorney Avery stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. A charge is only an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This investigation is being conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the Connecticut State Police.
These cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Natasha Freismuth through Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. In May 2021, the Justice Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: Fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.