A federal jury has found a 33-year-old Connecticut man guilty of conspiracy and firearms offenses stemming from an alleged attempt to sell firearms and grenades to what he believed was a white supremacist group.
According to U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut David B. Fein, the jury at the U.S. District Court in Bridgeport, on Wednesday, convicted Alexander DeFelice of Milford on one count of conspiracy, two counts of transferring a firearm to a convicted felon, one count of making explosive grenades and one count of transferring explosive grenades.
Following the jury's verdict, DeFelice also has pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon.
Sentencing has been slated for Feb. 18, 2011. DeFelice faces a total maximum term of 65 years in prison.
According to the evidence produced at trial, in late 2008 and early 2009, DeFelice came into contact with a cooperating witness working under FBI supervision and they attended meetings of two white supremacist groups called the Connecticut White Wolves and North East White Pride.
Later, the witness identified himself to DeFelice as a member of a large, out-of-state white supremacist group known as the Imperial Klans of America (IKA). The witness also let it be known that he was a convicted felon.
Over the course of a series of discussions about firearms, DeFelice offered to sell the witness semi-automatic weapons and ammunition.
On March 9, 2009, DeFelice took the witness to the garage of his home where the witness met William Bolton of Milford, Conn., and Edwin Westmoreland of Stratford, Conn. In the garage, DeFelice and other defendants sawed off the barrel of a shotgun and sold it to the cooperating witness for $300.
On March 23, 2009, DeFelice again met the witness in the parking lot of a Hamden, Conn., shopping plaza and told him that he could supply grenades and other live explosives to members of IKA. Later, DeFelice procured three empty grenade shells from the witness and promised to convert them into live ones.
On Nov. 11, 2009, DeFelice and Westmoreland sold a rifle and shotgun to the witness and two months later, on Jan. 23, 2010, they finished making the live grenades and sold it to the witness for $3,000.
Five days after the grenade sale, on Jan. 28, 2010, the FBI conducted a court-authorized search of DeFelice's residence and seized a 12-gauge shotgun, live rounds of ammunition of various calibers, and several items used to make the explosive grenades in his home.
DeFelice was immediately arrested and was held in federal custody ever since.
On June 29, 2010, Edwin Westmoreland pleaded guilty to one count of sale of a firearm to a convicted felon, and one count of conspiracy to sell firearms to a convicted felon and to make and transfer unregistered firearms consisting of explosive grenades. On Aug. 18, 2010, William Bolton also pleaded guilty to one count of Hobbs Act robbery conspiracy, and one count of sale of a firearm to a convicted felon. Westmoreland and Bolton are both await sentencing.
The trial of DeFelice began on Nov. 15, 2010 and the jury returned the verdict on Wednesday.
The jury, however, found other two defendants Kenneth Zrallack, 29, of Ansonia, Conn. and David Sutton, 46, of Milford, not guilty of conspiracy charges.
Fein has welcomed the verdict, saying, the U.S. Attorney's Office is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to protect the safety of all Americans and prosecuting those who seek to harm anyone whose race, ethnicity or religious beliefs differ from his or her own.