Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that a federal jury in Hartford has found JOSE ROQUE, 47, of Bridgeport, guilty of possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon. The jury returned the verdict this morning after a two-day trial before U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant.
According to the evidence presented during the trial, on September 1, 2010, Bridgeport Police responded to a residential burglary call. The complainant described the burglar and the vehicle he drove from the scene. Later that day, officers spotted ROQUE driving the car and attempted to stop him. After a chase, which involved multiple police cars, ROQUE was stopped.
ROQUE refused to get out of the vehicle. As one officer attempted to remove ROQUE, a second officer approached from the other side of the car and saw a brown gun handle tucked along the right side of the driver’s seat. After ROQUE made a movement toward the gun, the second officer kicked in the passenger window of the vehicle. ROQUE was taken out of the vehicle and tasered when he pushed back at officers.
A search of the vehicle revealed a .38 caliber Smith & Wesson SPL Model #64-2 handgun at the side of the driver’s seat.
ROQUE’s criminal history includes several state felony convictions, including convictions for murder, robbery and burglary in 1984; assault and burglary in 1991; escape in 1992; burglary in 1993, and assault, attempted assault of an officer, attempted escape, attempted riot in an institution, and conspiracy to commit assault in 1994. ROQUE was sentenced to 15 years of incarceration for the 1994 convictions.
It is a violation of federal law for a person previously convicted of a felony offense to possess a firearm or ammunition that has moved in interstate or foreign commerce.
Judge Bryant has scheduled sentencing for August 27, 2014.
ROQUE is subject to the Armed Career Criminal Act, a federal law imposing severe penalties for firearm or ammunition possession by persons who have been convicted of at least three violent felonies or serious drug offenses. As an Armed Career Criminal, ROQUE faces a minimum term of imprisonment of 15 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life.
This matter was investigated by the Bridgeport Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rahul Kale and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles Rombeau.