News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 22, 2006

East Windsor Couple, Five Others Charged with Conspiring to Exchange Guns for Drugs

MAR 22 -- 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 a federal grand jury sitting in Hartford has returned a six-count Superseding Indictment charging DAVID E. MUSKA, also known as “The Doc,” age 45 (DOB 12/4/60) of 53 South Main Street, East Windsor, Connecticut, his wife CHERYL MUSKA, age 38 (DOB 2/27/68), and five other individuals on charges related to the illegal possession and dealing of firearms in exchange for narcotics.  The Superseding Indictment was returned on March 21.

The Superseding Indictment charges DAVID E. MUSKA; CHERYL MUSKA, KENNETH “Kenny” McCARTHY, age 22 (DOB 11/30/83), of 204A Ross Road, Middlefield, Connecticut; NORMAN “Norm” BARNABY, age 26 (DOB 7/2/79), of 9 Robin Road, Windsor Locks, Connecticut, ANDRE DESCHENEAU, also known as “Junior,” age 29 (DOB 8/27/76), of 44 Furnace Avenue, Stafford Springs, Connecticut; EDWARD “Eddie” PALIN, age 24 (DOB 9/5/81), of 114 Leonard Street, Stafford Springs, and DAVID CALHOUN, also known as  “Nuke,” also known as “Nute,” age 34 (DOB 1/12/72), of 109 Whitmore Street, Hartford, with conspiracy to use or possess a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.  The Superseding Indictment also charges DAVID MUSKA, McCARTHY, BARNABY, DESCHENEAU and PALIN with both engaging in the business of dealing firearms and conspiring to do so.  In addition, DAVID and CHERYL MUSKA are both charged with possession of a firearm by unlawful drug user, DAVID MUSKA is charged with possession a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and CALHOUN is charged with possession of ammunition by a convicted felon.

        The Superseding Indictment also seeks the forfeiture of 88 guns, several thousand rounds of ammunition and other gun parts that were owned by the MUSKAs.

               DAVID MUSKA was arrested on February 3, 2006 following the execution of a search warrant at his residence in East Windsor.  He is currently in state custody on related state charges.  CHERYL MUSKA, McCARTHY, BARNABY, DESCHENEAU, PALIN and CALHOUN were arrested earlier today and appeared today before United States Magistrate Judge Thomas P. Smith in Hartford.  CHERYL MUSKA, McCARTHY, DESCHENEAU and PALIN were released after each posted a $100,000 non-surety bond.  BARNABY and CALHOUN are currently detained pending hearings that are scheduled for March 27 and March 31, respectively.

        The maximum penalty for conspiracy to use or possess a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime is 20 years of imprisonment and a fine of $250,000.  The maximum penalty for conspiracy to engage in the business of dealing firearms is five years of imprisonment and a fine of $250,000.  The maximum penalty for engaging in the business of dealing firearms is five years of imprisonment and a fine of $250,000.  The maximum penalty for possession of a firearm by an unlawful drug user or addict is 10 years of imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.  The maximum penalty for use or possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime is life imprisonment, with a minimum mandatory term of five years of imprisonment, and a $250,000 fine.  The maximum penalty for possession of ammunition by a convicted felon is 10 years and a fine of up to $250,000.

        U.S. Attorney O’Connor stressed that an indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.  Each defendant is entitled to a fair trial at which it is the Government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

        U.S. Attorney O’Connor noted that this prosecution is part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative.  This program is aimed at reducing gun violence, deterring illegal possession, sale and trafficking of guns, and improving the safety of residents throughout Connecticut.  Participants in the initiative include community members and organizations as well as federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

        This case is being investigated by the Hartford Violent Crime Impact Team (VCIT), which is a joint task force dedicated to combating violent crime and firearms violations.  The VCIT consists of federal and local law enforcement agencies, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, the United States Marshals Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Hartford Police Department.