News Release
For Immediate Release:
December 16, 2009
Contact: Special Agent Tony Pettigrew
Number: 617-557-2138

Hartford Man Sentenced To 20 Years In Federal Prison For Role In Crack Distribution Ring

DEC 16 -- Steven W. Derr, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England and Nora R. Dannehy, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that VIDA DEAS, also known as “V,” 37, formerly of Wethersfield Avenue, Hartford, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Christopher F. Droney in Hartford to 240 months of imprisonment, followed by 10 years of supervised release.  On April 24, 2009, a jury found DEAS guilty of one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base (“crack cocaine”), and two counts of distribution of cocaine base.

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.

According to the evidence presented at trial, DEAS was intercepted on numerous occasions during the course of the wiretap investigation.  The investigation revealed that DEAS assisted co-defendant Byron Turner in possessing and distributing crack cocaine between January 2004 and March 2007.  The evidence established that DEAS converted powder cocaine into crack cocaine for Turner, and drove Turner to locations where DEAS knew that Turner would be meeting customers to distribute crack.

The evidence also established that, on two occasions in March 2007, DEAS distributed crack cocaine to customers in the greater Hartford area.

This investigation resulted in the indictment of 14 defendants on federal narcotics and firearms charges, and search and seizure warrants executed during the investigation have resulted in the seizure of seven firearms, significant quantities of powder cocaine and crack cocaine, narcotics paraphernalia, approximately $37,000 in cash, and six vehicles utilized in furtherance of drug trafficking activities.

All of the 14 defendants who were indicted as a result of this investigation have been convicted.

On May 11, 2007, Turner pleaded guilty to several federal narcotics offenses.  He awaits sentencing.

This matter was investigated 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.