Priest pleads guilty to distributing explosives to teenager - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Priest pleads guilty to distributing explosives to teenager

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Father Paul Gotta was arraigned Monday. (East Windsor PD) Father Paul Gotta was arraigned Monday. (East Windsor PD)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

A Connecticut priest is accused of distributing explosives to an individual under 21.

Paul Gotta, 58, of Bridgeport faced a judge Tuesday in Hartford federal court.

According to officials, Gotta plead guilty to one count of “knowingly and willfully distributing an explosive material to an individual who was under 21 years of age.”

In 2014, Gotta was charged with several sexual assaults after he was accused of molesting a teenage boy.

Prosecutors offered Gotta a deal to plead guilty to second-degree breach of peace.

He was sentenced to a six-month suspended sentence and a two year conditional discharge.

Court documents said Gotta purchased thousands of rounds of handgun ammunition. He allegedly then gave them to a 17-year-old individual.

The documents additionally said Gotta distributed two pounds of explosives powder to the individual in Dec. 2012. The powder was purchased at Riverview Gun Sales, which is located in East Windsor.

In Jan. 2014, a grand jury in Hartford charged Gotta with aiding and abetting the unlawful transport of a firearm in interstate commerce, aiding and abetting the possession of a handgun by a juvenile, aiding and abetting the possession of ammunition by a juvenile, distribution of explosive material to an individual under the age of 21, aiding and abetting the attempted manufacture of a pipe bomb, and obstruction of justice. 

Gotta will be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Robert N. Chatigny on May 19.

Gotta faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a fine of up to $250,000.

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