By Tiffany Williams –
In New Haven, Connecticut on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton sentenced Alberto Vazquez, 39, of Hartford, Connecticut to 120 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release.
Vazquez pleaded guilty to conspiracy to deal in firearms without a license and to unlawfully transport firearms, unlawful transportation of firearms, and unlawful possession of firearms by a felon. His criminal history includes convictions for felony weapon possession, robbery and larceny offenses.
In 2020, ATF and Hartford Police recovered multiple firearms that had been purchased in South Carolina. In July 2020, one of those firearms was found in the possession of a convicted felon.
In September and October 2020, additional firearms were recovered at the scenes of two separate homicides in Hartford.
An investigation revealed that Vazquez, a felon who cannot lawfully purchase or possess firearms, conspired with individuals in South Carolina, including Joshua Bentz and Tywonda Bentz, to purchase firearms from a licensed gun dealer in Columbia, South Carolina, transport them to Connecticut, and sell them to felons and other customers in the Hartford area.
Vazquez and his co-conspirators purchased approximately 37 firearms through this scheme.
Joshua Bentz and Tywonda Bentz pleaded guilty to related charges and await sentencing.
In addition, Vazquez’s former girlfriend, Julitza Garcia, pleaded to making false statements to law enforcement officers during the investigation and, on May 2, 2022, was sentenced to three years of probation.