Methuen man sentenced to 24 months in prison for conspiring to steal firearms

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BOSTON — A Methuen man has been sentenced to 24 months in federal prison for his role in conspiring to steal firearms from three different New Hampshire gun stores.

Johariel Quezada, 19, was sentenced Thursday by U.S. District Court Judge Samantha Elliot and will serve three years of supervised release.

He and two co-defendants, William Mejia and Ethan Ayala, were indicted in June 2022.

Quezada pleaded guilty to conspiring to steal firearms from a federal firearms licensee on January 5, 2023.

Mejia pleaded guilty to similar charges and is scheduled to be sentenced on July 7, 2023. Ayala is scheduled to be sentenced on April 15, 2024.

Quezada conspired with others between August 29, 2021, and October 4, 2021, to steal firearms from three New Hampshire Federal Firearms Licensees.

During the conspiracy, 43 firearms were stolen from Milford Firearms in Milford, Second Amendment Arms in Windham, and MacPherson Firearms in Brentwood. Multiple stolen firearms were recovered from Quezada’s residence.

“Stolen firearms often fuel the gun violence that has become far too common in our communities,” said U.S. Attorney Jane E. Young. “Stopping the flow of stolen firearms into our communities remains a top priority of this office and we will continue to seek serious sentences for these very serious crimes.”

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives led the investigation, with assistance from several local police departments and the Massachusetts State Police.

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