August 06, 2020
Contact: SA Timothy Desmond
Phone Number: (617) 557-2100
Indictment charges five men for involvement in Bridgeport Courthouse shooting
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - A federal grand jury in New Haven has returned an indictment charging five Bridgeport men with multiple offenses stemming from their alleged involvement in an afternoon shooting in front of a state courthouse in Bridgeport in January.
Today’s announcement was made by DEA New England Division Special Agent in Charge Brian D. Boyle; John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut; Joseph T. Corradino, State’s Attorney for the Fairfield Judicial District; Bridgeport Police Chief Armando J. Perez; Kelly D. Brady, Special Agent in Charge, ATF Boston Field Division; David Sundberg Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The indictment, which was returned on August 5 and unsealed today following the arrest of four of the five defendants, charges
Isreal, Calderon, Blackwell and Jones were arrested today. They appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Holly B. Fitsimmons via video conference and are detained. Gaines is detained in state custody on unrelated charges.
As alleged in court documents and statements made in court, in an effort to address escalating violence in Bridgeport, the DEA, FBI, ATF, and Bridgeport Police are actively investigating members of multiple Bridgeport-based groups, including members of the “Greene Homes Boys” or “Hots” (“GHB/Hots”), a group based in the Charles F. Greene Homes Housing Complex in Bridgeport’s North End, whose members are involved in narcotics trafficking and numerous acts of violence, including murder. At various times, GHB/Hots members have formed alliances with other Bridgeport groups, including the Original North End (“ONE”) to target rival gang members.
On January 27, 2020, at 12:11 p.m., Bridgeport Police responded to the area of 172 Golden Hill Street in Bridgeport after a Shot Spotter activation detected approximately 20 shots being fired in front of the state courthouse located there. Upon arrival, investigators discovered that four victims – Trevon Wright, Khalil Heard, Jaffar Ali, Jaheim Warren – had been shot while sitting inside a black Chevrolet Impala. Wright was shot in the side of his chest, and has been left paralyzed. Heard sustained multiple gunshot wounds to his back, shoulder and wrist. Ali was grazed in the head and shot in the left thumb, and Warren was grazed in the ribs. The victims’ vehicle had approximately 23 entry bullet holes in the driver’s side and windshield area.
As alleged, this shooting is part of a larger ongoing investigation targeting the GHB/Hots, ONE and rival gangs.
The indictment charges Isreal, Gaines, Calderon, Blackwell and Jones with one count of assault with a dangerous weapon, attempted murder/aiding and abetting in assault with a dangerous weapon, and attempted murder, all in violation of the Violent Crimes in Aid of Racketeering (“VCAR”) statute. The assault offense carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years and the attempted offenses carry a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years. The five defendants are also charged with conspiracy to commit murder/conspiracy to commit assault with a dangerous weapon. The conspiracy to commit murder offense carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years and the conspiracy to commit assault offense carries a maximum term of imprisonment of three years.
The indictment also charges Isreal with one count of using and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, an offense that carries a mandatory consecutive sentence of at least 10 years, and one count of possession with intent to distribute heroin, cocaine base (“crack”) and fentanyl, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years
“As we all know, drug trafficking in our communities, along with the gun and physical violence that often accompanies it, is a serious threat to our families and communities,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Boyle. “These crimes rob the neighborhoods of safety and hold law abiding citizens of Connecticut hostage to drug-fueled lawlessness. This is unacceptable and will not be allowed to happen. DEA and its local, state and federal partners are dedicated to bringing to justice those that commit these crimes.”
“The federal charges against these five defendants are the result of an extensive investigation conducted by a partnership of law enforcement entities formed to address the surge in violent crime in the city of Bridgeport,” said U.S. Attorney Durham. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Bridgeport State’s Attorney’s Office are jointly supervising the investigation, and federal and state prosecutors worked seamlessly to ensure that appropriate charges were brought. I applaud the collaborative efforts of the Bridgeport Police Department, ATF, FBI and DEA in bringing those who are alleged to be responsible for this reckless and violent incident to stand trial for their actions. I also thank the forensic examiners at the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection’s Division of Scientific Services for their timely and expert analysis pertaining to DNA and ballistic evidence that has been critical to this investigation. Finally, I want to stress that while this is a significant and substantial prosecution that will assist in quelling violence in Bridgeport, our work is far from over. We continue to jointly investigate other violent acts in Bridgeport, and the groups, gangs or individuals responsible for them.”
This ongoing investigation is being conducted by the DEA, FBI’s Safe Streets and Violent Crimes Task Forces, ATF, Bridgeport Police Department, Connecticut State Police and the Bridgeport State’s Attorney’s Office, with the assistance of the Connecticut Forensic Science Laboratory and the Waterbury Police Department.