News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 24, 2007

Two Hartford Men Admit Roles in Hartford Cocaine and Crack Ring

MAY 24 --June W. Stansbury, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Adminstration in New England and Kevin J. O’Connor, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that BYRON TURNER, also known as “BY,” age 26, of Capen Street, Hartford, and GREGORY BOLLING, also known as “Nice,” age 35, of Adams Street, Hartford, have pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Christopher F. Droney in Hartford to federal narcotics distribution charges.

The charges against TURNER and BOLLING stem from a six-month investigation by the Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes Task Force that included the use of a variety of investigative techniques including controlled purchases of crack cocaine, federal wiretaps over a two-month period, physical surveillance, and the execution of search and seizure warrants. The investigation followed an increase in violent crime in the North End section of Hartford and focused on drug trafficking activity and associated violence in the vicinity of Capen and Tolland Streets. To date, this ongoing investigation has resulted in the indictment of 13 defendants on federal narcotics and firearms charges. Search and seizure warrants were executed during the investigation, leading to the seizure of seven firearms, significant quantities of powder cocaine and crack cocaine, narcotics paraphernalia, approximately $37,000 in cash, and six vehicles utilized in furtherance of drug trafficking activities.

According to documents filed with the Court and statements made in Court, TURNER made numerous sales of crack cocaine to a cooperating witness in late 2006 and early 2007. Conversations surrounding each of the crack cocaine sales were recorded by law enforcement officers. Additionally, two cellular telephones used by TURNER were the subject of a Court-authorized wiretap, which began on February 1, 2007, and continued until March 26, 2007. During the course of the wiretap, law enforcement officers determined that TURNER was purchasing significant quantities of cocaine and utilizing several residences, including 55 Mansfield Street, Hartford, to convert the cocaine into crack cocaine. The wiretap intercepts, coupled with the surveillance of law enforcement officers and arrests of several individuals, confirmed that TURNER was distributing significant quantities of both crack cocaine and powder cocaine in Hartford.

During search and seizure warrants executed at TURNER’s residences at 270 Capen Street, Hartford, and 530 Tolland Street, East Hartford, law enforcement officers recovered six firearms, firearms ammunition, quantities of crack cocaine and powder cocaine, and approximately $16,000 in cash.

On May 11, TURNER pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of crack cocaine, conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute crack cocaine, and conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine. TURNER also acknowledged that his drug conspiracies involved the distribution of one kilogram of crack cocaine and five kilograms of cocaine. TURNER also pleaded guilty to unlawfully possessing firearms affecting interstate commerce as a previously convicted felon.

TURNER is scheduled to be sentenced on July 30, 2007, at which time he faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 20 years, a maximum term of life, and a fine of up to $8,000,000. TURNER also has agreed to forfeit a 2002 BMW 525 wagon, a 1995 Volkswagen Passat wagon, and approximately $16,000 in cash, all of which he acknowledged were proceeds of, or property used to facilitate, narcotics transactions. In addition, TURNER consented to the destruction of the six firearms that were seized at his residences.

According to documents filed with the Court and statements made in Court, BOLLING was TURNER’s drug associate. Numerous conversations establishing this relationship were intercepted during the course of the wiretap. On February 5, 2007, BOLLING attempted to broker a transaction between TURNER and an unidentified cocaine supplier involving approximately 250 grams of cocaine, in exchange for $5,500.

Today, BOLLING pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine, and he acknowledged that he was responsible for conspiring to distribute between 200 and 300 grams of cocaine.

BOLLING is scheduled to be sentenced on August 10, 2007, at which time he faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years and a fine of up to $1,000,000. BOLLING also has agreed to forfeit his interest in $1,920 in cash that was found on his person when he was arrested on February 16, 2007, as proceeds of narcotics transactions.

U.S. Attorney O’Connor commended the investigation of this matter that was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Hartford Police Department, the Bloomfield Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the East Hartford Police Department, and the Mid-State Narcotics Task Force.