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News Release
September 27, 2005

New Haven Man Sentenced to Nearly Six Years on Federal Crack Cocaine Charge

SEP 27--June W. Stansbury, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration in New England and Kevin J. O'Connor, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that ELIAS RIVERS, also known as "Crack Baby," age 21, of 14 Garden STreet, Apartment E, New Haven, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Janet C. Hall in Bridgeport to 70 months of imprisonment followed by five years of supervised release. RIVERS has previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute five grams or more of cocaine base ("crack" cocaine).

This charge stems from an investigation conducted by the New Haven Drug Task Force, composed of agents and officers of the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the New Haven and West Haven Police Departments. According to information disclosed in court proceedings, in late 2003, the Task Force began an investigation into the distribution of crack cocaine throughout the New Haven area by Julius Moorning and his associates. A variety of traditional and sophisticated investigative techniques were employed by the Task Force, including court-authorized wiretaps. The investigation disclosed that Moorning and his associated, Edward Hines, Rodney Nelson and Michele Groom, were obtaining large quantities of crack and powder cocaine and transporting it to New Haven for resale. The crack and cocaine were then sold to local distributors in the Newhallville, Dwight-Kensington, Hill, Fair Haven, Eastern Circle, Westville, Brookside and West Hills sections of New Haven, and in Derby and West Haven, Connecticut.

Moorning, Hines, Nelson and Groom were arrested in April 2004, and they were subsequently indicted on federal drug conspiracy charges with 45 other individuals, including RIVERS. In association with searches conducted at the time the defendants in this matter were arrested, a large quantity of crack cocaine and more than $88,000 was seized by law enforcement.

Judge Hall has sentenced Groom and Nelson to 120 months and 144 months of imprisonment, respectively. Moorning and Hines await sentencing.



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