Twenty-Five Charged After FBI Task Force Investigation into Hartford Gang-Related Drug Trafficking
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, Patricia M. Ferrick, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Hartford Police Chief James C. Rovella today announced that 25 individuals have been charged with federal narcotics offenses related to the gang-related distribution of crack cocaine in Hartford’s North End.
According to allegations made in court, this matter stems from a year-long joint law enforcement investigation headed by the FBI’s Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes Task Force into narcotics trafficking by members and associates of West Hell street gang and gang-related violent activity. The investigation, which included the use of court-authorized wiretaps, controlled purchases of narcotics, and physical surveillance, identified MELKUAN SCOTT, also known as “Young God,” “Mel,” “Young,” and “YG,” 23, as the alleged leader of the West Hell street gang who, along with his associates, distributed crack cocaine in the Westland Street area of Hartford.
SCOTT and five co-defendants were arrested on April 15, 2014, after they allegedly participated in a quarter-kilogram crack cocaine transaction. The investigation culminated yesterday with the arrest of nine individuals.
Charged in a 52-count indictment, which was returned by a federal grand jury in New Haven on April 24, 2014, are:
- MELKUAN SCOTT, a.k.a. “Young God,” “Mel,” “Young,” and “YG,” 23, of Eastford Street, Hartford, and Lake Road, Andover
- ARTHUR STANLEY, a.k.a. “Wigs,” “P,” and “Peno,” 24, of Townley Street, Hartford
- JEFF ANTOINE, a.k.a. “Little Homie,” 19, of Barbour Street, Hartford
- RASHAWN DUBOSE, a.k.a. “Chubbs,” and “Trev,” 22, of Love Lane, Hartford
- GREGORY THOMAS, a.k.a. “Quanny” and “Jim,” 23, of Earle Street, Hartford
- TYSHAWN McDADE, a.k.a. “S Dot” and “S Diddy,” 29, of Homestead Avenue, Hartford
- AKEEM MANOO, a.k.a. “Keeme,” 23, of Pliny Street, Hartford,
- RICARDO HOWE, a.k.a. “Dino” and “Tyson,” 25, of Cornwall Street, Hartford
- NEHELIAH BARNETT, a.k.a. “Neagmiah,” “Nelly,” “Ney” and “Nehemiah,” 26, of Love Lane, Hartford
- RAYMOND RIVERA, a.k.a. “White Boy,” 24, of Sheldon Street, Hartford
- KYRIN-ROBERT JACKSON, a.k.a. “Ky,” 23, of Martin Street, Hartford
- *GABRIEL HORACE WILLIAMS-BEY, a.k.a. “G Money,” “Money” and “Mugga,” 25, of Manchester Street, Hartford
- TAFARIE GREEN, a.k.a. “Farie,” 24, of Grandview Terrace, Hartford
- IRIS PEREZ, 40, of Dudley Street, Manchester,
- AFESHA MANOO, a.k.a. “Fesha” and “Fee,” 23, of Pliny Street, Hartford
- HORACE STARKS, JR., a.k.a. “Head” and “Little Head,” 22, of Burnside Avenue, East Hartford,
- JAMIE COLEMAN, a.k.a. “City,” 23, of New Britain Avenue, West Hartford
- ARNOLD THOMPSON, a.k.a. “B,” 24, of Garden Street, Hartford
- JERROD HALL, a.k.a. “Slime,” 20, of Winchester Street, Hartford
- RAQUIM SMITH, a.k.a. “Bud,” “Butter” and “Rakim,” 21, of Westland Street, Hartford
- JAMAL HOWELL, a.k.a. “Squizzy,” 28, of Eggleston Street, Bloomfield
- RASHAWN HILL, 32, of Winchester Street, Hartford
- JASON WATSON, a.k.a. “Noggin,” 26, of Earle Street, Hartford
- SHAQILLE BROWN, a.k.a. “Shaq,” 21, of Oakland Terrace, Hartford
- *MICHAEL MORRISON, a.k.a. “Nazzie,” 24, of Norfolk Street, Hartford
(*WILLIAMS-BEY and MORRISON are currently being sought by law enforcement. Citizens with knowledge of their whereabouts, or with information that may be helpful the investigation of this matter, are encouraged to call the FBI at 203-777-6311.)
“Gang-related drug activity terrorizes and tears apart the fabric of our communities,” stated U.S. Attorney Daly. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners are prepared to use the full weight of federal law to prosecute individuals involved in gangs and related activity. I commend the work of the FBI’s Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes Task Force, which is committed to investigating serious criminal behavior in Hartford and rooting out violent individuals from our communities. This investigation is ongoing. We will continue to work closely with our state counterparts to investigate acts of violence that may relate to this alleged drug trafficking activity.”
“The distribution of narcotics allegedly undertaken by members and associates of the West Hell street gang has been seriously disrupted as a result of this successful long-term investigation by the Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes Task Force,” stated FBI Special Agent in Charge Ferrick. “It is our hope that this continuing investigation will break West Hell’s stronghold on some of Hartford’s north end neighborhoods. Any group that attempts to fill the void created by these arrests will suffer the very same fate.”
“This effort is a perfect demonstration of the benefits of all our law enforcement partners—local, state, and federal—all working in concert to achieve the same objective of stemming violence in our city streets,” stated Chief Rovella. “Law enforcement believes that the group targeted in this operation not only distributes drugs, but has had a propensity for gun violence. We are committed to working together with both the community and our law enforcement partners to make our neighborhoods safer.”
The indictment charges SCOTT, STANLEY, ANTOINE, DUBOSE, THOMAS, McDADE, AKEEM MANOO, HOWE, BARNETT, RIVERA, JACKSON, WILLIAMS-BEY, GREEN, PEREZ, AFESHA MANOO, and STARKS with conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute cocaine base (“crack cocaine”). If convicted of this charge, based on the quantity of narcotics charged, SCOTT, STANLEY, ANTOINE, DUBOSE, THOMAS, McDADE, AKEEM MANOO, and HOWE face a minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life, and BARNETT, RIVERA, JACKSON, WILLIAMS-BEY, GREEN, PEREZ, AFESHA MANOO, and STARKS, face a minimum term of imprisonment of five years and a maximum term of imprisonment of 40 years.
SCOTT, STANLEY, ANTOINE, DUBOSE, THOMAS, McDADE, AKEEM MANOO, HOWE, RIVERA, WILLIAMS-BEY, and STARKS are charged with one or more counts of possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, various quantities of crack cocaine. SCOTT and STANLEY are also charged with multiple counts of possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, crack cocaine and powder cocaine.
COLEMAN, THOMPSON, HALL, SMITH, HOWELL, BROWN, and MORRISON are charged with use of telephone to facilitate the distribution of crack cocaine, and HILL and WATSON, are charged with use of a telephone to facilitate the distribution of heroin. If convicted of this charge, each defendant faces a maximum term of imprisonment of four years.
SCOTT, DUBOSE, and BARNETT are charged with one count of maintaining a premise to manufacture a controlled substance. These defendants are alleged to have used an apartment at 33-35 Love Lane in Hartford to convert, or “cook,” cocaine into crack cocaine. If convicted of this charge, each defendant faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.
Finally, the indictment charges SCOTT, with one count of possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years. A loaded Heckler & Koch, model P2000, .40 caliber handgun was found during a search of SCOTT’s residence on April 15, 2014.
U.S. Attorney Daly stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes Task Force, Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Marshals Service, and Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division. The FBI task force includes members of the Hartford Police Department, East Hartford Police Department, Connecticut State Police and Connecticut Department of Correction. The Hartford Police Department’s Vice and Narcotics Squad, Major Crimes Unit and Shooting Task Force are providing valuable assistance to the investigation, and the Capitol Region Emergency Response Team (CREST) assisted with the arrest of certain defendants. The Office of the Chief State’s Attorney is also assisting with this ongoing investigation.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys John H. Durham and Peter S. Jongbloed.