However, authorities said he committed a crime Nov. 20 when he grabbed an additional three cases containing 111 guns and sold one to a person in Bridgeport.
Authorities believe that person to be Kashawn Brown, the reputed "black jacket robber" who is accused of brandishing the weapon during robberies in Bridgeport and Stratford.
Now Perez and an associate, Michael Murphy, who allegedly helped broker the one sale, face federal charges that could land them in prison for decades.
A federal grand jury in Bridgeport indicted the pair, both of whom have criminal records, for conspiring to possess stolen guns with the intent to sell, possession of stolen guns, trafficking in stolen guns and being felons in possession of guns. Additionally, Perez is charged with lying to federal agents on two occasions during the investigation.
If convicted on the six charges against him, Perez, 27, faces a maximum 45 years in prison. The four charges naming Murphy carry a maximum 35 years in prison.
Authorities said the theft took place on Nov. 8, when Perez, who was working as a truck driver for Pace Motor lines in Stratford, picked up the cases at the Springfield plant and dropped five off in Stratford. A Smith & Wesson surveillance camera taped Perez grabbing an additional three cases from the loading dock, according to an affidavit filed in federal court by Michael Oppenheim, a special agent with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
When questioned by Oppenheim, Perez said he delivered all eight cases to the Pace warehouse.
However, Perez's story later changed after an individual was arrested in Bridgeport with one of the missing guns. Perez admitted to authorities that he gave the three cases to Murphy, who, he said, sold at least three of the guns by Nov. 24, according to Oppenheim's affidavit.
Another stolen gun was found in Murphy's home, while 28 others were recovered from a third person.
Bridgeport State's Attorney John Smriga said criminal cases in state court against Perez and Murphy are continuing.