A Norwich man who traded drugs to an undercover agent in exchange for handguns was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in New Haven to 65 months in prison for illegal possession of firearms.

Judge Janet Bond Arterton also imposed three years of supervised release for Daniel Francois, who also is known as “Bear.”

According to the government, Francois was arrested on May 20, 2019, after he provided crack cocaine and marijuana to an undercover Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives special agent in exchange for two Davis model P-380 .380 caliber pistols. A search of Francois’ person and vehicle also revealed approximately 20 grams of heroin.

Francois’ criminal history includes state felony convictions for robbery and drug offenses. It is a violation of federal law for a person previously convicted of a felony offense to possess a firearm or ammunition that has moved in interstate or foreign commerce. Francois has been incarcerated since his arrest. 

On Dec. 2, 2019, he pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon. The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Ledyard and Norwich police departments, with the assistance of Connecticut State Parole.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Margaret M. Donovan as part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods program.