New Haven Jury Finds Two Drug Traffickers Guilty
NORWALK, Conn. - Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that a federal jury in New Haven has found TAJH WILEY, also known as “Yung,” 26, of Norwalk, and JEVAUGHN WATSON, also known as “Russ,” 28, of Ansonia, guilty of drug trafficking offenses.
The trial before U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton began on July 13 and the jury returned the guilty verdicts yesterday afternoon.
This matter stems from an investigation led by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Bridgeport High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force into a drug trafficking organization headed by Wiley. The investigation, which included a court-authorized wiretap of Wiley’s phone, revealed that Wiley conspired to distribute quantities of fentanyl, cocaine and marijuana and distributed drugs throughout Connecticut and elsewhere with the assistance of other associates.
Wiley, Watson, and six others were arrested in June 2021. In association with the arrests, investigators executed multiple search warrants and seized approximately a kilogram of fentanyl, a kilogram of cocaine, approximately 83 grams of crack cocaine, more than 12 pounds of marijuana, two press machines and other items and materials used by Wiley and his co-conspirators to process and package illegal drugs. Investigators also seized from Wiley jewelry valued at more than $100,000, and a 2021 Mercedes-Benz valued at approximately $146,000.
The jury found Wiley guilty of one count of conspiracy to distribute, and to possess with intent to distribute, fentanyl, 500 grams or more of cocaine and marijuana, and one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine base (“crack cocaine”). At sentencing he faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years and a maximum term of imprisonment of 40 years. Watson was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to distribute, and to possess with intent to distribute marijuana, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years.
Judge Arterton scheduled sentencing for October 12, 2022.
This investigation has been conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Bridgeport High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bridgeport Police Department, Fairfield Police Department, Norwalk Police Department, Stamford Police Department, Stratford Police Department, Yonkers (New York) Police Department and the U.S. Marshals Service. The HIDTA Task Force includes personnel from the DEA Bridgeport Resident Office, the Connecticut State Police, and the Bridgeport, Norwalk, Stamford, Stratford, Milford and Danbury Police Departments.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elena L. Coronado, Robert S. Dearington, Patrick J. Doherty, and Margaret M. Donovan through the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Program. OCDETF identifies, disrupts and dismantles drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs and transnational criminal organizations through a prosecutor-led and intelligence-driven approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.