JAN 14 (NEW HAVEN, Conn.) - John J. Arvanitis, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England and Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that a federal jury in Hartford has found Michael Smith, also known as “Smitty” and “Fingers,” 43, of Hamden, guilty of narcotics distribution offenses. The trial before U.S. District Judge Robert N. Chatigny began on January 6 and the jury returned its verdict yesterday.
In a related case, Corey Maddox, also known as “C.L.,” 36, of New Haven, was sentenced today by Senior U.S. District Judge Ellen Bree Burns in New Haven to 55 months of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release.
Smith, Maddox and more than one hundred other individuals were charged as a result of “Operation Bloodline,” a joint law enforcement investigation targeting narcotics trafficking and gang violence in the Dwight-Kensington and Fair Haven sections of New Haven. Led by the DEA New Haven Task Force and the New Haven and Hamden Police Departments, the year-long investigation included the use of court-authorized wiretaps on numerous telephones, extensive physical surveillance, controlled purchases of narcotics, execution of search warrants, and seizures of narcotics and firearms.
According to the evidence presented during his trial, investigators received court-authorization to monitor three of Smith’s telephones. The investigation revealed that Smith conspired to receive and distribute large quantities of cocaine and crack cocaine. In addition, on October 27, 2011, Smith sold approximately 6.6 grams of crack cocaine to an individual working with law enforcement.
Smith has been detained since his arrest on May 22, 2012. On that date, law enforcement searched an apartment connected to Smith and recovered items used to convert cocaine into crack cocaine, as well as approximately $2000 in cash.
The jury found Smith guilty of one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, cocaine and cocaine base (“crack cocaine”), and one count of possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, cocaine base. Judge Chatigny has scheduled sentencing for April 7, 2014, at which time he faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life.
Smith has a prior state firearms conviction, and seven prior felony drug convictions.
As to Maddox, the same investigation revealed that he conspired with co-defendant Emory James, also known as “Emmo,” to distribute cocaine and heroin, primarily in the Dwight-Kensington neighborhood of New Haven.
Maddox’s criminal history includes felony assault, firearms and drug convictions. He has been detained since his arrest on May 17, 2012.
On September 19, 2013, Maddox and James each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, heroin and cocaine. James awaits sentencing.