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Former Resident Sentenced In Federal Firearms Case

HARTFORD — A judge sentenced a Naples, Fla., man on April 23 to three years of probation and 450 hours of community service for illegally possessing stolen firearms silencers.

US District Judge Alvin Thompson gave Richard Sleeva, 51, that sentence, according to a statement from US Attorney Deirdre Daly. The firearms case has a link to a Newtown residence.

Sleeva formerly possessed the firearms at residences in Newtown and in Pennsylvania, according to the US attorney.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Sleeva was a federal firearms licensee and had obtained silencers as a member of Gemtech’s board of directors prior to his removal from that board in 2001.

Gemtech is an Idaho firm that is in the business of designing, testing, manufacturing, servicing, and selling silencers for firearms.

When he was removed from the board, Sleeva failed to return the silencers after Gemtech repeatedly demanded that he do so. Gemtech then reported the firearms as stolen.

Sleeva’s federal firearms license expired in 2003.

In September 2011, Sleeva pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a stolen firearm and admitted that, from 2001 through September 2009, he unlawfully possessed three Gemtech firearms silencers at a former residence in Pennsylvania.

As part of the resolution of this case, Sleeva agreed to forfeit approximately 117 firearms that he owned and possessed at residences in Pennsylvania and Newtown.

The firearms, which Sleeva voluntarily turned over to US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents in 2009, included more than 40 firearms silencers, more than 40 short-barreled shotguns, as well as several machine guns, semiautomatic handguns, and semiautomatic rifles, according to the US attorney.

Sleeva had faced a possible maximum ten-year prison term and a maximum fine of $250,000. Sleeva was free on bail pending sentencing.

The prosecutor had recommended that Sleeva serve five years probation, pay a fine of some amount between $6,000 and $60,000, and perform community service.

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