#Bridgeport CT–On Friday April 28, 2023, the Bridgeport Police Regional Auto Theft Task Force, and other law enforcement partners, were operating in the vicinity of Ridgefield Avenue, and Barnum Avenue, when they observed a gray Mercedes Benz C-300 with heavily tinted windows and misappropriated New Jersey registration plate, circling an apartment building at Ridgefield Ave, Bridgeport. After making multiple passes, the operator pulled into the parking lot and backed into a parking space by the rear entranceway. The operator, later identified as Andy Marte age 29 of Meriden, CT stayed behind with the car running, while his three passengers, all wearing masks, got out of the car, and entered inside the building using the rear door.
Several minutes later, all three males emerge from the building, one of whom was wearing latex gloves, and returned to the vehicle. Based on the suspicious behavior and the motor vehicle violation (MISUSE/Counterfeit NJ License Plate), Task Force Officers conducted an investigative stop. While the vehicle was still stationary in the parking space, Officers removed the occupants from the vehicle for Officer safety and in plain view, observed a firearm, resting on the floorboard, behind the front passenger seat. After the parties were secure, Officers canvassed the building and recovered video footage, depicting the suspects attempting to break into an apartment using crowbars. A further search of the vehicle located two crowbars, and an additional firearm (Privately Made Firearm-“Ghost Gun”).
Incidental to the arrests, officers recovered crack-cocaine and pills on two of the suspects. Tyrone ALLEN, age 46 or Bridgeport, Jermaine BETHEL Jr, age 27 of Bridgeport, Kareen PORTER, age 24 of Bridgeport and MARTE, aka “AD”, were all charged with Conspiracy 53a-48 to Commit Burglary 2nd with a Firearm 53a-102a, Criminal Possession of a Firearm 53a-217, Criminal Possession of Ammunition 53a-217(a)(1), Illegal sale, delivery, or Transfer of a Firearm 29-33, Carrying a Pistol without Permit 29-35(a), Illegal Possession of Large Capacity Magazine 53-202w(c1), Weapons in a Motor Vehicle 29-38, and Failure to Obtain Serial Number (Privately made Firearm) PA19-6(2)(a).
Bethel and Porter were charged additionally for Possession of Narcotics With Intent To Sell.
MARTE and BETHEL were both on Parole for prior weapon charges and were remanded into custody.
The Bridgeport Regional Auto Theft Task Force, comprised of officers from Bridgeport PD, Stratford PD, Fairfield PD, Trumbull PD and Westport PD, have been operating in Bridgeport daily for over the past 18 months, in a collaborative effort to prevent and/or dismantle/disrupt acts of violence by concentrating efforts on recovering stolen vehicles before they can be utilized in the commission of violent crimes.