Police: man awaiting trial arrested with assault rifle, drugs

Fairfield County Courthouse on Golden Hill Street, Bridgeport.

Fairfield County Courthouse on Golden Hill Street, Bridgeport.

Ned Gerard / Hearst Connecticut Media

BRIDGEPORT — A local man free on bond while awaiting trial in an assault case was charged Thursday after police said they found guns and drugs in his home.

Michael Jefferson, 33, of William Street, was charged with illegal possession of an assault rifle, criminal possession of a firearm, possession of a large-capacity magazine and illegally altering a firearm.

“He was out on $250,000 bond for a violent felony and on parole for similar charges,” Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Pamela Esposito argued during Jefferson’s arraignment hearing Thursday morning.

Jefferson’s lawyer, Public Defender Dennis Salzbrunn, urged the judge for leniency pointing out that his client took responsibility for the drugs and guns found in his home.

But Superior Court Judge Kevin Doyle ordered Jefferson held in lieu of $750,000 bond. He continued the case to Feb. 5.

“He has a violent record, was out on bond on a serious case and was the subject of a search warrant for heroin and fentanyl,” the judge said.

On Wednesday afternoon, members of the state police gang task force, FBI Safe Streets Task Force, U.S. Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and local police, raided Jefferson’s home.

During a search of the home, police said they found what they described as a loaded .762-caliber SKS assault rifle with an obliterated serial number, a handgun, loaded with a 15-round magazine, another handgun loaded with a 12-round magazine, 100 folds containing heroin, a small quantity of crack cocaine and a bag containing Ecstasy pills.

Police said Jefferson subsequently admitted the guns and drugs were his and added that the heroin contained fentanyl.

On parole for a drug and guns conviction, Jefferson has been waiting trial for a 2018 arrest for first-degree assault, according to court records.