BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - A 31-year old Bridgeport man, Wadner Dorce, also known as "Wa Wa," pleaded guilty yesterday before U. S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport to one count of illegally engaging in the business of dealing in firearms. The guilty plea followed an investigation conducted jointly with the U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Beginning in January 2009, as part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative, members of the Bridgeport Police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) began an investigation into gun trafficking that was centered in the P.T. Barnum Public Housing Complex and surrounding neighborhoods on the west side of Bridgeport. Approximately 32 firearms were purchased during the course of the investigation.
According to court documents and statements made in court, from June 2009 to March 2010, Dorce illegally sold four firearms to an individual working with law enforcement.
Judge Underhill has scheduled sentencing for May 13, 2011, at which time Dorce faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years and a fine of up to $250,000. He remains in federal custody.
David B. Fein, U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut said the investigation was supported by the U.S. Marshals Service, and the New Haven Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorney Felice Duffy.
The Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative is aimed at reducing gun and gang violence, deterring illegal possession of guns, and improving the safety of residents in Connecticut's cities.
Participants in the initiative include community members and organizations as well as federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.