News Release
January 18, 2008

Eastern Connecticut Cocaine Trafficker Pleads Guilty

JAN 18 -- June W. Stansbury, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration in New England and Kevin J. O’Connor, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that TIMOTHY SCZUREK, 30, of Lebanon, Connecticut, pleaded guilty today before United States District Judge Alvin W. Thompson in Hartford to two counts of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine.

According to documents filed with the Court and statements made in court, the first count to which SCZUREK pleaded guilty relates to his participation in a cocaine distribution ring that operated in southeastern Connecticut. SCZUREK admitted his involvement in distributing between 15 and 50 kilograms of cocaine with other individuals, including Anthony Morse and Shaun Napolitano. Morse and Napolitano have pleaded guilty and await sentencing.

The second count relates to a conspiracy that occurred after SCZUREK’s arrest in June 2007. While incarcerated, SCZUREK attempted to sell cocaine that he had hidden prior to his arrest. SCZUREK enlisted Marie Benson to obtain nearly five kilograms of cocaine from a storage facility so that the cocaine could be provided to other persons who would sell it. Benson also has pleaded guilty and awaits sentencing.

On the first count, because he is a second felony offender, SCZUREK faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 20 years, a maximum term of life and a fine of up to $8,000,000. On the second count, SCZUREK faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years, a maximum term of life and a fine of up to $4,000,000. Judge Thompson has scheduled sentencing for April 4, 2008.

This prosecution is part of an ongoing federal, state and local law enforcement effort to quell violence fueled by the drug trade in southeastern Connecticut. On December 1, 2005, Deshawn Stewart was killed in a hit and run in retaliation for a gunpoint robbery of two individuals in New London in which he took part. Following Stewart’s death, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives intensified its relationship with the New London and Norwich Police Departments in order to investigate narcotics and firearms trafficking in the area, and target habitual offenders and individuals with violent histories for federal prosecution. To date, more than 30 individuals have been charged with federal crimes as a result of this joint investigative effort. Several additional individuals have been prosecuted by the New London States Attorney’s Office. The effort, which has expanded to include several additional police departments and the Connecticut State Police, also has removed more than two dozen illegal firearms from the streets.

This matter has been investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division, the Norwich Police Department, the New London Police Department, the City of Groton Police Department, the Town of Groton Police Department, the Waterford Police Department, the Stonington Police Department, the Willimantic Police Department and the Connecticut State Police.

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