Hartford Man Indicted as Part of Project Longevity Investigation
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that a federal grand jury in Hartford has returned an eight-count indictment charging KEVIN BETTS, also known as “KK,” 28, of Hartford, with narcotics distribution and firearms offenses. The indictment was returned on August 6, 2014.
The indictment alleges that in July 2014, BETTS manufactured PCP in an apartment at 57 Sumner Street in Hartford, and then distributed the drug on multiple occasions. The indictment further alleges that on August 1, 2014, BETTS possessed three loaded firearms: a Glock, model 22, .40 caliber handgun; a Taurus, model Judge, .45 caliber handgun, and a Taurus, model Millennium PT-140, .40 caliber handgun.
BETTS is charged with five counts of distributing Phencyclidine (“PCP”), one count of possessing PCP, one count of maintaining a drug-involved premises, and one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of his drug trafficking.
The charge of possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of PCP carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years and a fine of up to $1 million. BETTS faces an additional five-year consecutive term of incarceration if convicted of possessing the firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking. He also faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years and a fine of up to $500,000 if convicted of maintaining a drug distribution premises.
This prosecution stems from Project Longevity, a comprehensive initiative to reduce gun violence in Connecticut’s major cities. Through Project Longevity, community members and law enforcement directly engage with members of groups that are prone to commit violence. A critical component of the Project Longevity strategy is the “call-in,” a face-to-face meeting where Project Longevity partners engage group members and deliver a community message against violence, a law enforcement message about the consequences of further violence and an offer of help for those who want it. The alleged criminal activity engaged in by BETTS occurred after a call-in that was held on April 1, 2014, and was attended by BETTS’ associates.
U.S. Attorney Daly stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This ongoing investigation is being conducted by the Hartford Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Gustafson.