Fairfield man pleads guilty to assault weapons charge in UNH lockdown case


Fairfield resident William Dong pled guilty in federal court today to an assault weapons charge.

Fairfield resident William Dong, 23, pled guilty today in Hartford federal court to transporting an assault weapon into Connecticut in violation of federal law, according to Connecticut U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly.

A press release issued by her office said Dong traveled to Pennsylvania in Sept. 2013, purchased a Bushmaster model XM-15-E2S, .223 caliber semi-automatic rifle, and brought it back to Connecticut. This firearm is considered a prohibited assault weapon under Connecticut state law, according to the U.S. Attorney’s statement.

On December 3, 2013, West Haven police arrested Dong near the University of New Haven after he was found with two handguns on his person, and in possession of the Bushmaster rifle, which was seized from his nearby car. According to the press release, Dong told police he bought the rifle in Pennsylvania in Sept. 2013 through an advertisement on www.armslist.com.

Federal law allows possession of the rifle at issue but prohibits bringing it into Connecticut, where it is banned.

Dong, who has been detained since his arrest, is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Robert N. Chatigny in Hartford on Jan. 29, 2015. He faces a maximum prison term of  five years.

On Oct. 17,  Dong pled guilty in Milford Superior Court to state firearms offenses related to the Dec. 2013 incident in West Haven.

The announcement from Daly’s office said the case is being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the West Haven Police Department.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert M. Spector.

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