Jury Finds New Haven Man Guilty of Participating in Crack Cocaine Trafficking Ring
|U.S. Attorney’s Office March 01, 2013|
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that a federal jury in New Haven has found Manokus Fields, also known as “Fresh,” 30, of New Haven, guilty of conspiracy to distribute 280 grams or more of cocaine base (“crack cocaine”). The jury returned the verdict today following a three-day trial before Senior United States District Judge Ellen Bree Burns.
According to statements made in court and the evidence disclosed during the trial, this matter stems from a joint law enforcement investigation conducted in 2010 by the FBI New Haven Safe Streets Task Force, the DEA New Haven Task Force, the New Haven Police Department, and the Hamden Police Department. Through the use of court-authorized wiretaps, investigating officers identified and dismantled a large drug trafficking organization that was headed by Joseph Jackson, also known as “Mighty” and “M.I.,” and centered in the Newhallville section of New Haven and Hamden.
From June 2010 through October 2010, Fields was intercepted over the wiretap regularly arranging to meet Jackson and others at locations in Newhallville and New Haven’s Fair Haven neighborhood to purchase “8-balls” (3.5 grams) of crack cocaine. Fields then divided the crack into 27 individual packages containing approximately one-tenth of a gram, which he sold to customers for $10 each.
At trial, Fields maintained that he bought crack cocaine from the members of the conspiracy but was not a conspirator himself. The jury rejected this defense and convicted Fields on the only count with which he was charged.
At sentencing, Fields faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life.
Forty-seven individuals have been charged in federal court with various narcotics offenses as a result of this investigation. Forty-six of those individuals have been convicted. The trial of the last remaining defendant is scheduled for April 2013.
This matter was investigated by the FBI New Haven Safe Streets Task Force (composed of members of the New Haven, Milford, and Hamden Police Departments and the Connecticut Department of Correction), the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Haven Task Force (composed of members of the New Haven, West Haven, Meriden, Ansonia, Hamden, and Branford Police Departments), along with substantial participation by members of the New Haven and Hamden Police Departments. The United States Marshals Service also has assisted the investigation.
The investigation was funded in significant part by the United States Attorney’s Office Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force and supported by the Office’s Project Safe Neighborhoods and Anti-Gang programs.
This matter is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Robert M. Spector and Christopher M. Mattei.