Meriden Man Indicted on Narcotics and Firearms Offenses

            John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that a federal grand jury in New Haven has returned an indictment charging JONATHAN RIVERS, 38, of Meriden, with narcotics distribution and firearm possession offenses.

As alleged in court documents and statements made in court, on February 26, 2020, Meriden Police arrested Rivers after a search of a disabled vehicle on his property revealed more than 500 grams of cocaine, more than 28 grams of crack cocaine, more than 40 grams of fentanyl, a Highpoint Model HCP .40 caliber handgun, a Smith and Wesson Model 629-1 44 Magnum Revolver, a Romanian Model TTC 9mm handgun, and 18 rounds of .40 caliber ammunition.  A quantity of crack cocaine was also found in a vehicle Rivers had driven earlier that day.

It is further alleged that Rivers’ criminal history includes state convictions for robbery, kidnapping and drug 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.

The indictment, which was returned on July 8 and unsealed today following Rivers’ federal arrest, charges Rivers with two counts of possession with intent to distribute controlled substances, one count of possession of firearms by a convicted felon, and one count of possession of ammunition by a convicted felon.  The most serious drug possession charge carries a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years and a maximum term of imprisonment of 40 years, and the firearm offenses carry a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years on each count.

Rivers appeared today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah A. L. Merriam in New Haven and was released on a $250,000 bond with a condition that he be confined to his home.

U.S. Attorney Durham stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt.  Charges are only allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This matter is being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the Meriden Police Department.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Margaret Donovan, Pilar Gonzalez and Konstantin Lantsman.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make neighborhoods safer for everyone.

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