Government Police/Fire

West Hartford Police Arrest Two, Seize Guns in Recent Incidents

A firearm was among the items seized by West Hartford Police following a recent motor vehicle stop. Courtesy of West Hartford Police

Two recent motor vehicle stops resulted in the arrest of two suspects on firearms and other charges.

By Ronni Newton

West Hartford Police said Monday that two recent incidents that began as motor vehicle stops resulted in the seizure of illegal weapons and other charges against the suspects.

On Friday, Jan. 27, at approximately 1:33 p.m., police said officers on patrol pulled over a driver who was observed committing moving violations.

A West Hartford Police K-9 that was at the scene alerted officers to the presence of narcotics on the passenger side front door, police said, and a search of the vehicle yielded a handgun under the driver’s seat as well as a stash of marijuana and materials used for the packaging and sale of drugs.

Sergio Cruz, 31, of Bridgeport, was charged with failure to drive right, criminal possession of a firearm, illegal possession of a high capacity magazine, illegal possession of a weapon in a motor vehicle, and sale of a controlled substance.

Cruz was released after posting a $250,000 surety bond and is due in court in Hartford on Feb. 9.

Online court records indicate that Cruz was previously convicted of possession of a controlled substance and received a one-year sentence that was suspended, but served two years of probation.

In the second incident, which was unrelated, police stopped the driver of a vehicle on Sunday, Jan. 29, at approximately 5:02 p.m. because the vehicle was displaying a misused license plate.

A loaded handgun was among the items seized by West Hartford Police following a recent motor vehicle stop. Courtesy of West Hartford Police

Officers not only learned that the driver of the vehicle was wanted by Hartford Police on charges of disorderly conduct, but also spotted a single bullet on the passenger side floorboard of the vehicle. After searching the car, police said they found a loaded handgun under the driver’s seat, along with ammunition and an extended magazine.

Police arrested and charged Nehemiah Lewis, 22, of Hartford, with carrying a pistol without a permit, improper storage of a pistol/revolver in a motor vehicle, operating an unregistered motor vehicle, illegal possession of a high capacity magazine, illegal operation of a motor vehicle without insurance, misuse of plates, and operating without a license.


Lewis was taken into custody and held on $100,000 surety bond. He has been transferred to the custody of judicial marshals for arraignment, police said.

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