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Bridgeport Convicted Felon Recruited Man To Purchase Firearms, Feds Say

A convicted felon is facing charges in federal court after allegedly recruiting a man to purchase weapons for him.
A convicted felon is facing charges in federal court after allegedly recruiting a man to purchase weapons for him. Photo Credit: Contributed

A man with multiple felony convictions is facing more jail time after enlisting a Connecticut man to purchase guns for him.

Jamar “JT” Smith, 37, of Bridgeport, and John Flannery III, 29, of East Hartford have been charged in federal court to various offenses related to the illegal purchase of firearms.

U.S. Attorney John Durham noted that Smith is a convicted felon who is prohibited from purchasing or possessing guns or ammunition.

It is alleged that in March, Smith had Flannery purchase weapons for him and his associates. On three occasions, Flannery purchased semiautomatic pistols in Bridgeport and East Hartford with cash that Smith had given him.

Durham said that during each of the purchases, while filling out federally required forms, Flannery allegedly falsely marked “Yes” in response to the question “Are you the actual buyer of the firearm(s) listed on the form?”  He also marked “No” in response to the question “Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?”

On April 17, a Bridgeport firearms dealer refused to sell Flannery another handgun and alerted Connecticut State Police of the suspicious attempted purchase. He later unsuccessfully attempted to purchase semiautomatic pistols at two dealers in Newington.

It is also alleged that Flannery, at Smith’s direction, told the Connecticut State Police that he was purchasing firearms to start a licensed security business.

Flannery was arrested in July and was charged by a grand jury in Bridgeport with two counts of making false statements during the purchase of a firearm and two counts of transfer of a firearm to a prohibited person. If convicted, Flannery faces up to 10 years in prison on each count. He is currently released on a $100,000 bond pending trial.

Smith was arrested on Tuesday, Sept. 10 and charged with conspiracy to make a false statement during the purchase of a firearm, four counts of aiding and abetting the making of false statements during the purchase of a firearm and three counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He faces decades in prison if he is convicted.

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