News Release
For Immediate Release:
January 29, 2009
Contact: Special Agent Tony Pettigrew
Number: 617-557-2138

Hartford Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Prison for Involvement in Narcotics Trafficking Ring

JAN 29 -- Steven W. Derr, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England and Nora R. Dannehy, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that MICHAEL STEWART, 29, of Columbus Circle, Hartford, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Christopher F. Droney in Hartford to 120 months of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release.  On May 17, 2007, STEWART pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base (“crack cocaine”).

This matter stems from a six-month investigation by the Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes Task Force that included the use of a variety of investigative techniques including controlled purchases of crack cocaine, federal wiretaps over a two-month period and physical surveillance.  The investigation followed an increase in drug trafficking activity and associated violence in the vicinity of Capen and Tolland Streets in Hartford.  To date, the investigation has resulted in the conviction of 13 defendants on federal narcotics and firearms charges. Search and seizure warrants executed during the investigation led to the seizure of seven firearms, significant quantities of powder cocaine and crack cocaine, narcotics paraphernalia, approximately $20,000 in cash, and six vehicles utilized in furtherance of drug trafficking activities.

According to documents filed with the Court and statements made in Court, STEWART was intercepted on numerous occasions during the wiretap phase of the investigation negotiating the purchase and sale of crack cocaine.

Acting U.S. Attorney Dannehy commended the investigation of this matter that was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Hartford Police Department, the Bloomfield Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the East Hartford Police Department, and the Mid-State Narcotics Task Force.