Tran calls gun theft indictment politically motivated

Says he will continue congressional campaign

AFTER CONGRESSIONAL candidate Dean Tran was indicted on charges that he stole a gun from an elderly constituent, Tran defiantly issued a statement slamming Attorney General Maura Healey for “partisan corruption” and indicating that he will remain in the race.

Tran, a Republican, said in the statement, “Her false and pathetic allegations are untrue and categorically false.”

A Worcester grand jury indicted Tran on Friday, alleging that Tran intimidated an elderly constituent into selling him her late husband’s guns. When she demanded he return them, he did, but he then returned, demanded the keys to her husband’s gun safe, and stole a single Colt .45. The gun was ultimately returned, and Tran gave conflicting stories to investigators, according to the charges.

When CommonWealth first reported on the allegations in 2020, Tran said the allegations were false. He reiterated that in the statement Friday night while accusing Healey of leveling them as a political move. Healey is a Democrat running for governor.

“Today’s press release from the Left-Wing Attorney General is nothing short of an act of partisan corruption,” Tran said. “If this pitiful attempt by the Democrat political machine is the best attempt they have as a kill shot to our campaign, then it reaffirms what we already know, that we are going to WIN this race in November.”

Tran is running against US Rep. Lori Trahan, who he accused of calling in her “political allies” “to dig deep and abuse their influence to try and smear my name, reputation, and the incredible accomplishments I have achieved for our communities.”

Trahan’s campaign declined to comment.

The alleged incident occurred in June 2019 when Tran was a state senator, and Healey’s office has not answered several questions over the last couple of years about why it took so long to conclude the investigation.

In 2020, the alleged victim told CommonWealth a story that largely conforms to the narrative provided by Healey’s office, and her account was confirmed by others who she spoke to at the time.

The woman said she was 78 years old when Tran visited her weeks after her husband passed away and told her that he wanted to engrave her late husband’s Marine Corps knife. She opened her late husband’s gun safe, and Tran took her husband’s guns against her wishes. The woman said after her daughter intervened, Tran returned the guns but kept one, the Colt .45. The woman said she was scared of Tran at the time. She said the gun was returned to her with an anonymous note.

Meet the Author

Shira Schoenberg

Reporter, CommonWealth

About Shira Schoenberg

Shira Schoenberg is a reporter at CommonWealth magazine. Shira previously worked for more than seven years at the Springfield Republican/MassLive.com where she covered state politics and elections, covering topics as diverse as the launch of the legal marijuana industry, problems with the state's foster care system and the elections of U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Gov. Charlie Baker. Shira won the Massachusetts Bar Association's 2018 award for Excellence in Legal Journalism and has had several stories win awards from the New England Newspaper and Press Association. Shira covered the 2012 New Hampshire presidential primary for the Boston Globe. Before that, she worked for the Concord (N.H.) Monitor, where she wrote about state government, City Hall and Barack Obama's 2008 New Hampshire primary campaign. Shira holds a master's degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.

About Shira Schoenberg

Shira Schoenberg is a reporter at CommonWealth magazine. Shira previously worked for more than seven years at the Springfield Republican/MassLive.com where she covered state politics and elections, covering topics as diverse as the launch of the legal marijuana industry, problems with the state's foster care system and the elections of U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Gov. Charlie Baker. Shira won the Massachusetts Bar Association's 2018 award for Excellence in Legal Journalism and has had several stories win awards from the New England Newspaper and Press Association. Shira covered the 2012 New Hampshire presidential primary for the Boston Globe. Before that, she worked for the Concord (N.H.) Monitor, where she wrote about state government, City Hall and Barack Obama's 2008 New Hampshire primary campaign. Shira holds a master's degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.

The woman, speaking through a friend, declined to comment on Friday and asked that her name not be published because she feared retaliation.

Patty Martin, the friend who spoke on her behalf, said the long wait for a resolution had been frustrating to the woman, and she hopes the woman will finally have some solace. “It took a long time for her to get the peace of mind she needed to get,” Martin said.

Tom Richard, a friend of the woman who was aware of the events and testified before the grand jury, called it “good news after three years.”