Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and James Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge, ATF Boston Field Division, today announced that ANDREW FRANCOEUR, 36, of Manchester, waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty yesterday in Hartford federal court to offenses related to his illegal possession, manufacture, and sale of firearms.
According to court documents and statements made in court, as part of an ongoing investigation into the proliferation of privately made firearms (“PMFs” or “ghost guns”) in Connecticut, ATF investigators determined that Francoeur was buying firearm parts from a Missouri company, having the parts shipped to him, and manufacturing guns inside a shipping container on a property in Suffield. Francoeur sold some of the firearms he manufactured.
In August 2022, while Francoeur was incarcerated in state custody for drug and firearm offenses, investigators retrieved two storage bins used by Francoeur that contained firearm parts, a .22 caliber rifle, more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition, 25 high-capacity magazines, M-80 explosives, firearm gear, and other items.
Francoeur’s criminal history includes felony convictions for firearm, drug, burglary, and failure to appear offenses. 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.
Francoeur pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition by a felon, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 15 years, and one count of manufacturing and dealing in firearms without a license, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years. He is scheduled to be sentenced on September 6, 2023.
This investigation is being conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney A. Reed Durham.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.