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A 35-year-old New London man who was wearing a bullet proof vest and was in possession of a pistol with an obliterated serial number when police stopped him three days after an Ocean Avenue shooting in April 2013 pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court today to possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon.
Maurice L. Milligan faces up to 10 years in prison when U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant sentences him on Sept. 10. Milligan, who has been incarcerated since his arrest, also pleaded guilty last week in state Superior Court to assault and weapons charges in connection with the shooting and is expected to receive a concurrent seven-year prison sentence on Aug. 12.
Police said a shooting was reported about 11:35 p.m. on April 22, 2013, in the area of Ocean Avenue and Evergreen Street. Officers found several 9-mm shell casings at the scene, according to an incident report.
A review of surveillance video from the Sam’s convenience store showed Milligan and an unknown male exchanging words before the reported shooting. Police said that Milligan was seen walking in the backyard of 54 Sherman St. with an object in his hands a few seconds after the shooting.
Three days later, while on patrol, police spotted Milligan and his friend Travis Gee in a black Nissan. Police informed both Milligan and Gee that they believed they were involved in Monday’s shooting. Police asked Milligan if he was in possession of a gun, which he denied. When police asked Milligan to step out of the car, he was wearing a bulletproof vest.
Police found a Glock 9-mm handgun underneath the front driver’s seat. Milligan told police that he did not know the gun was in the car and could not say why he was wearing a bulletproof vest.
A ballistics comparison made of the shell casings recovered on the night of April 22 with the Glock seized from under the driver’s seat of the car Milligan was driving on April 25 established that the Glock was the weapon that fired the shots, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.
Prior to April 2013, Milligan had been convicted in the Queens County (N.Y.) Supreme Court of third-degree criminal possession of a loaded firearm and second-degree robbery.
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. It is also a violation of federal law for a convicted felon to wear protective body armor, and for an individual who has been convicted of a violent felony offense to possess body armor.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the New London Police Department and the Office of the State’s Attorney for the Judicial District of New London. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John H. Durham.