STAMFORD, CT. – Steven W. Derr, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England and David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that a federal jury in Hartford has found CHARLES HANDY, 43, of Sherman Avenue, Stamford, guilty of one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine base (“crack cocaine”) and two counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine base. The verdicts, which were returned late yesterday afternoon, followed a four-day trial before United States District Judge Robert N. Chatigny. The jury deliberated for approximately one hour.
This matter stems from “Operation Hammertime,” a four-month DEA Task Force wiretap investigation that targeted a drug trafficking operation run by Gavin Hammett out of the Roodner Court housing complex in Norwalk. As a result of the investigation, 20 individuals have been charged with various narcotics and firearms offenses related to the distribution of cocaine and crack cocaine in the greater Norwalk and Stamford area. During the investigation, law enforcement officers seized more than one kilogram of cocaine, more than 200 grams of crack cocaine, multiple bundles of heroin, more than $100,000 in cash, seven vehicles and two firearms.
The evidence presented to the jury included more than 80 intercepted wiretap calls, stored text messages, seized narcotics and testimony detailing physical surveillance and controlled purchases of narcotics. The evidence established that, between March and June 2010, HANDY regularly purchased hundreds of grams of crack cocaine from Hammett, which he then sold for profit. HANDY typically purchased between 28 and 40 grams of crack cocaine at a time, paying $50 per gram, and then sold it to his own customers in smaller quantities at a price of $100 per gram. When HANDY was arrested by the Stamford police on June 17, 2010, he was found in possession of approximately $1,500.
Judge Chatigny has scheduled sentencing for July 1, 2011, at which time HANDY faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 20 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life. He has been detained since his arrest.
Hammett has pleaded guilty and awaits sentencing.
This matter was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Bridgeport High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force, which includes members of the Bridgeport, Stamford, Norwalk and Stratford Police Departments, and the Connecticut State Police. Substantial assistance to the investigation was provided by the Norwalk Police Department’s Special Services Squad and the Stamford Police Department’s Narcotics and Organized Crime Squad.