News Release
For Immediate Release:
February 9, 2009
Contact: Special Agent Tony Pettigrew
Number: 617-557-2138

Jury Finds New Haven Man Guilty of Federal
Crack Cocaine Distribution Charges

FEB 9 --Steven W. Derr, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England and Nora R. Dannehy, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that a federal jury in Bridgeport has found TORRANCE MCCOWN, also known as “Jake,” 32, of Hazel Street, New Haven guilty of one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base (“crack cocaine”). The trial before United States District Judge Janet C. Hall began on February 5 and the verdict was returned this afternoon.

In January 2008, MCCOWN and 16 other individuals were charged by indictment for their involvement in a significant crack cocaine trafficking operation in and around the Newhallville section of New Haven. The Indictment stemmed from “Operation No Nonsense,” an investigation conducted by the New Haven Drug Task Force, which is composed of agents and officers from the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the New Haven, West Haven, Branford, Shelton and Meriden Police Departments.

According to the evidence disclosed during the trial, co-conspirator Roshaun Hoggard regularly obtained powder cocaine from co-defendant Genero Marte in the Bronx, New York, transported it to New Haven, transformed it into crack cocaine, and distributed it in New Haven. Once the cocaine was converted into crack, MCCOWN and others assisted Hoggard in distributing the drug throughout New Haven.

The evidence presented by the Government included court-authorized recordings of telephone calls in which MCCOWN and others discussed the purchase and sale of crack cocaine with Hoggard, and in which Hoggard and his associates arranged to procure redistribution quantities of the drug. Evidence also was presented regarding the seizure of more than 250 grams of cocaine powder from co-conspirator Chris Lamont Sherman on November 27, 2007 in New Haven, as he and Hoggard were returning from a re-supply trip to New York where they obtained the drugs from Marte and his associates. In addition, crack, scales, packaging material and other paraphernalia were recovered from a safe in Hoggard’s apartment during the execution of a search warrant on December 10, 2007.

Judge Hall has scheduled sentencing for April 30, 2009, at which time MCCOWN faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 20 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life.

In November 2008, a jury found Hoggard and Marte guilty of crack conspiracy charges; in December 2008, a jury found co-defendant William Baldwin guilty of crack conspiracy charges, and in January 2009, a jury found co-defendants Robert Rawls and Chris Lamont Sherman guilty of crack conspiracy charges. Prior to the trials, another nine defendants entered pleas of guilty to crack conspiracy and related charges. All of the defendants await sentencing.

This case has been investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the New Haven Police Department, the West Haven Police Department, the Shelton Police Department, the Meriden Police Department and the Branford Police Department. The United States Marshals Service assisted in the arrests of several of the defendants in the case.