Indictments Charge 36 Hartford-Area Defendants with Narcotics Trafficking and Firearm Offenses
|U.S. Attorney’s Office May 11, 2012|
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Kimberly K. Mertz, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, today announced that a federal grand jury sitting in Hartford has returned three indictments charging 36 individuals with various offenses related to the distribution of crack cocaine and the unlawful possession and dealing of firearms in and around Hartford. The third indictment was unsealed on May 9, 2012 after 10 of the defendants were arrested.
These indictments stem from Operation Vinefield, a joint law enforcement investigation headed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes Task Force, targeting narcotics trafficking and gang violence in Hartford’s North End. The nine-month investigation included the use of court-authorized wiretaps, controlled purchases of crack cocaine, and physical surveillance. “I want to acknowledge the hard work and full commitment of the FBI, the Hartford Police Department, the Connecticut State Police, and the Connecticut Department of Correction in the lengthy investigation of this matter and the arrests of these defendants,” stated U.S. Attorney Fein. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office and our federal partners will continue to work with local and state law enforcement to bring narcotics and firearms traffickers to justice and to help free communities of gang violence.”
“The FBI is committed to working with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to address violent crime in Connecticut’s cities, and I want to recognize and express appreciation for the invaluable work of the Connecticut State Police, the Hartford Police Department, and the Connecticut Department of Correction,” stated FBI Special Agent in Charge Mertz.
On March 7, 2012, the grand jury returned an indictment charging the following 12 individuals with various narcotics offenses related to crack cocaine trafficking in the lower Vine Street area of Hartford:
JOSHUA EASTERLING, a.k.a. “Skeet,” “Squash,” and “SQ,” 25, of Hartford;
JAMES PERKINS, a.k.a. “Slugger,” 25, of East Hartford;
JUAN CARTAGENA, 27, of Hartford;
MORRIS CARTER, III, a.k.a. “Chilly Mo, Jr.” and “Mo,” 23, of Hartford;
ANTHONY HENRY, a.k.a. “Tone” and “Mack,” 21, of Hartford;
EVERTON GUNTER, a.k.a. “Little Ev” and “Ev,” 21, of Hartford;
EBONY MOORE, a.k.a. “Eb,” 35, of Hartford;
ERIC GOMES, a.k.a. “Goober Dust,” 45, of Hartford;
KYSHIIFA BOYD, a.k.a. “Ky,” 22, of Hartford;
MORRIS CARTER, JR., a.k.a. “Chilly Mo” and “Mo,” 43, of Hartford;
HASSAN MUHAMMAD, JR., a.k.a. “Hadie,” 22, of Hartford; and
SHAKIM WHITE, a.k.a. “Country” and “Lil Weezie,” 27, of Meriden.
On April 4, 2012, the grand jury returned an indictment charging the following five individuals with various narcotics offenses related to crack cocaine trafficking:
DEMENTRIUS NAVE, a.k.a. “Cunny,” 33, of Hartford and West Hartford;
TYRONE CRUMP, a.k.a. “KT,” 27, of Hartford;
JUSTIN POWELL, a.k.a. “Jus,” 30, of Hartford;
RAKENT BUNKLEY, a.k.a. “Kent” and “Kent Street,” 23, of Hartford; and
KEVIN ALLEN, 40, of Hartford.
On May 3, 2012, the grand jury returned an indictment charging the following 19 individuals with various offenses related to crack cocaine trafficking and the unlawful possession and distribution of firearms, principally in the area of Enfield Street in Hartford:
CLINTON HILL WESTON, a.k.a. “Ack,” 35, of Hartford;
DANA ADAMS, a.k.a. “Soul,” 42, of Hartford;
NIDA WILLIAMS, a.k.a. “Nija Williams” and “N-Dog,” 34, of Bloomfield;
DERRICK BAILY, a.k.a. “Fry,” 43, of Hartford;
JUSTIN STEPHENSON, a.k.a. “Face,” 25, of Hartford;
MONGO COLEMAN, 38, of Hartford;
MICHAEL BETHEA, a.k.a. “Lil Tren” and “Lil Train,” 44, of New Britain;
MICHAEL BROCKMAN, 41, of Hartford;
EARL DAVIS, 53, of Hartford;
JAEQWAN SHEPPARD, a.k.a. “Quanny” and “Q,” 29, of Hartford;
VASHAWN RAY, 24, of Hartford;
JEFFREY FANIEL, 30, of Hartford;
KEWAN WOODSON, a.k.a. “Piggy” and “Pig,” 19, of Hartford;
REUBEN HARRIS, a.k.a. “Rube,” 41, of Hartford;
MORRIS HARMON, JR., a.k.a. “Smooth,” 53, of Hartford;
PATRICK ROGERS, 22, of Hartford;
JOHNNY ROSA, a.k.a. “Johnny J” and “Johnny G,” 19, of East Hartford;
EARL PATRICK, 47, of Hartford;
JAYQUAN FANIEL, 27, of Hartford; and
STEPHEN TERRILL, 39, of Glastonbury.
If convicted, a number of the defendants face a minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years, a maximum term of life, and fines of up to $10 million. Due to prior narcotics trafficking convictions, a number of defendants face increased penalties.
U.S. Attorney Fein 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 was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes Task Force, the Connecticut State Police, the Hartford Police Department, and the Connecticut Department of Correction. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Brian P. Leaming.