Three New Haven Men Plead Guilty to Crack Cocaine Distribution Offenses
|U.S. Attorney’s Office March 14, 2014|
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that three New Haven men involved in a crack cocaine distribution ring have pleaded guilty in Bridgeport federal court. Donald Ogman, also known as “Main” and “Mainy-O,” 32; Kenneth Sturdivant, also known as “Slay,” 28; and Romell Brown, 35, each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute cocaine base (crack cocaine). Ogman pleaded guilty today, and Sturdivant and Brown pleaded guilty on March 10 and March 11, respectively.
According to court documents and statements made in court, this matter stems from an investigation conducted by the FBI New Haven Safe Streets Task Force and the New Haven Police Department into drug distribution and related violence allegedly being committed by members and associates of the Grape Street Crips in New Haven.
When they are sentenced, Ogman, Sturdivant, and Brown face a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life. They been detained since they were arrested in March 2012.
On April 9, 2012, a grand jury returned an indictment charging 18 individuals with narcotics distribution offenses stemming from this investigation. Two more individuals were later charged in the case with the same offense. To date, 16 of the defendants have pleaded guilty. Four defendants are awaiting trial, which is currently scheduled to begin on March 24 before Senior U.S. District Judge Warren W. Eginton in Bridgeport.
With respect to the defendants awaiting trial, 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 FBI’s New Haven Safe Streets Task Force, which includes the New Haven, Hamden, and Milford Police Departments; the Connecticut State Police; and the State of Connecticut Department of Correction. The investigation has been assisted by the U.S. Marshals Service and the Westerly (R.I.) Police Department.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anthony E. Kaplan and H. Gordon Hall.