News Release
January 28, 2008

New London Man Sentenced to
70 Months in Federal Prison for Illegal Gun Possession

JAN 28 -- 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 LINWOOD OATES, also known as “Noodles,” 25, of New London, Connecticut, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Janet Bond Arterton in New Haven to 70 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. OATES pleaded guilty to the offense on October 2, 2007.

According to documents filed with the Court and statements made in court, on February 27, 2007, New London Police stopped a car OATES was driving after it failed to stop at a stop sign at the intersection of Connecticut Avenue and Lincoln Avenue. A subsequent search of the vehicle’s glove compartment revealed a Heckler and Koch, Model USP, .45 caliber pistol. A trace of the firearm showed that it had been reported stolen on September 23, 2006 in Scarborough, Maine.

Previously, OATES has been convicted in Connecticut Superior Court in April 1999 of Attempted Robbery in the Second Degree and Assault in the Second Degree, and in December 2003 of Possession of Narcotics. It is a violation of federal law for a person previously convicted of a felony offense to possess a firearm that has moved in interstate or foreign commerce.

According to statements made in court, OATES has been charged by state authorities in an outstanding arrest warrant with attempted murder relating to the shooting of an individual in New London on March 31, 2007.

OATES has been detained in federal custody since his arrest on a federal criminal complaint on April 4, 2007.

This matter stems from 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, 27 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 Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, 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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