Hartford DEA Mobile Enforcement Team (MET) arrests 40
After a four-month investigation by a DEA Mobile Enforcement Team (MET), 40 individuals have been arrested on drug-related charges. Mark R. Trouville, DEA Special Agent in Charge of the New England Field Division; John A. Danaher III, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut; Chief Bruce Marquis, Hartford police Department; and Hartford State's Attorney James Thomas announced today that a federal grand jury sitting in Hartford has indicted 9 persons in separate indictments of federal drug conspiracy charges related to drug operations in Hartford and that an additional 31 persons have been arrested on state narcotics or related charges. These individuals have been arrested by DEA's Mobile Enforcement Team and the Hartford Police Department over the past few weeks in a cooperative effort that started this past summer, when Chief Marquis enlisted the assistance of the DEA's Mobile Enforcement Team. The investigation is continuing and additional arrests are expected.
This investigation included approximately 40 undercover purchases. Additionally, five federal search warrants were executed in Hartford, including searches at Pope Park automotive and CBL market. As a result of this investigation, law enforcement officials seized over 5 pounds of cocaine; nearly two pounds of heroin; 4 pounds of crack cocaine; approximately one pound of marijuana; over $19,000 in cash; 5 guns and 5 vehicles.
The federal defendants are charged with drug conspiracy and substantive drug distribution charges for carrying out organized drug distribution activity throughout Hartford.
Special Agent in Charge Trouville stated, "The DEA's Mobile Enforcement Team provides manpower, intelligence, confidential informants, undercover buy money and related resources to New England towns and cities on a case by case, short term basis. In June, this specialized unit, in conjunction with the Hartford Police Department's vice and Narcotics Division began to target specific drug dealers. By July, law enforcement started making controlled purchases of cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin from all of the targets."
"The arrests of these defendants sends a clear message to drug dealers that they will not operate freely on the streets of Hartford and their criminal activity will not be tolerated," Mr. Trouville added.
Police Chief Marquis stated, "in an ongoing effort to make Hartford a safer city, over the past 4 months we have partnered with the U.S. Attorney, the DEA and the State's Attorney's Office to investigate and arrest several key individuals who are involved in the illegal drug activity in our city."
Hartford State's Attorney Thomas said that "these arrests represent a significant crack down on the illegal drug trade in the City of Hartford. We will continue to use all available resources to investigate and prosecute those who are responsible for trafficking in crack, cocaine, heroin and other illegal drugs."
"These arrests and ongoing federal investigation into whether certain real property will be the subject of forfeiture actions represents federal law enforcement's continuing joint commitment to uncover and prosecute those responsible for drug trafficking in Connecticut's major cities," Mr. Danaher said.
The federal drug charges carry penalties ranging from a maximum of 20 years in prison to a possible maximum of life imprisonment, and fines in excess of $1,000,000, depending on the defendant's criminal history and the quantity of drugs involved.
The state charges carry penalties of not less than five to eight years in prison and up to 25 years to life imprisonment, depending on the defendant's criminal history and the quantity of the drugs involved.