NEW CANAAN, Conn. (WTNH) — A New Canaan police officer was arrested on explosives and weapons charges, according to the Department of Criminal Justice.
David W. Rivera was arrested on Thursday. The DCJ said that during a search of Rivera’s home in Stratford, police found quantities of high explosives that were improperly stored. Police said Rivera is alleged to have used these explosives in his business training working dogs for various organizations.
Court documents confirmed that River is the CEO of the Naugatuck business, Black Rock Canine, which was housing 36 dogs.
The agency claims to be the first large-scale breeding program of high performing, healthy service dogs. His attorney explained the reasoning for Rivera holding explosives.
“The way the dogs are able to detect explosives is to have them, have access to the scent of the explosives. It’s part of the process,” Rivera’s attorney said.
According to the warrant, Rivera did not have a permit to possess the high explosives. He was also found in possession of an assault weapon.
Rivera was charged with illegal possession of explosives, illegal storage of explosives, illegal possession of an assault weapon, illegal storage of a firearm, and three counts of improper transfer of a firearm.
In court on Friday, Rivera’s attorney took the floor against the state attorney’s office.
“The question is he a danger to the community, so due to the circumstances, we’d request the bond be no more than $50,000 recommended by the bail commissioner,” Rivera’s attorney said.
New Canaan police said Rivera was placed on leave and is prohibited from serving as an active-duty New Canaan police officer. The department said he will remain on leave pending adjudication of any criminal case and completion of an internal investigation.
The State’s Attorney said Rivera’s felonies are punishable by up to 10 years in prison if he is found guilty.
Rivera was set on a warrant of $250,000 and is due in Bridgeport Superior Court on Friday.