New Bedford Repeat Illegal Firearm User Sentenced to Prison

Bristol County District Attorney’s Office
Thomas M. Quinn III
District Attorney

Press Release
September 24, 2019​​​​

A 28-year-old New Bedford man with two previous illegal firearm convictions was sentenced to serve at least six years in state prison last week after being convicted of a third illegal firearm offense and witness intimidation, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.

Christopher Rivera pleaded guilty in Fall River Superior Court to indictments charging him with unlawful possession of a firearm and witness intimidation.

During the night of September 4, 2016, New Bedford Police officers were on patrol when they heard gun shots.  Unidentified young males point a police cruiser in a general direction, gesturing that the shooters are headed in a particular direction.  Police head in that direction and get behind a car with two young males in the car.  The males keep looking back at the police and make several furtive movements.  The car’s headlights were also turned off.

The officers activated their blue lights to stop the car, at which point the car began to accelerate at a high rate of speed.  A short car chase ensues that ends when the  passenger jumps from the vehicle.  Inside the passenger’s hand, police observed a bunched up t-shirt.  A foot chase ensued and the passenger ultimately dropped the t-shirt.  When the shirt was dropped, the officer in pursuit heard metal hit the ground. A Smith & Wesson 9mm with one round chambered and five rounds in the magazine was found with the t-shirt.  A short distance later the defendant was found shirtless and shoeless by another police officer.  The defendant was then positively identified by the officer initially chasing him. 

While in lockup at the New Bedford Police Department, the Defendant told the booking Sergeant, “wait ‘till I get out of here. Remember my face because I’m gonna get at you when I get out of here. I’m gonna make you pay. I’m gonna take you down.” 

The case against the defendant was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Patrick Driscoll.  Judge Thomas Perrino sentenced to defendant to serve five year in prison for the illegal firearm indictment and an addition one year to four-and-a-half years in prison for the witness intimidation indictment.

“This defendant has a history of possessing illegal firearms, which is contributing to the violence in our communities. He is a danger to the community and needs to be kept off the street,” District Attorney Quinn said.


Gregg Miliote

Director of Communications