News Release
For Immediate Release:
July 7, 2009
Contact: Special Agent Tony Pettigrew
Number: 617-557-2138

New Haven Man Sentenced to 10
Years in Federal Prison for Role in Crack Cocaine Distribution Ring

JUL 07 -- 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 ROBERT RAWLS, also known as “Fid” and “Franco,” 42, of Edgewood Avenue, New Haven, was sentenced yesterday, July 6, by United States District Judge Janet C. Hall in Bridgeport to 120 months of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release. On January 9, 2009, a jury found RAWLS guilty of one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base (“crack cocaine”).

In January 2008, RAWLS 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, the New Haven Police Department and the West Haven Police Department.

According to the evidence disclosed during the trial, 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. RAWLS lived with Hoggard and assisted Hoggard in transforming and distributing the drugs.

The evidence presented by the Government included court-authorized recordings of telephone calls in which RAWLS and others discussed the purchase and sale of crack cocaine with Hoggard, and arranged to procure redistribution quantities of the drug. In addition, crack, scales, packaging material and other paraphernalia were recovered from a safe in RAWLS and Hoggard’s apartment of during the execution of a search warrant on December 10, 2007.

On November 20, 2008, a jury found Hoggard and Marte guilty of crack distribution charges. They await sentencing.

This case was 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. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney H. Gordon Hall, Deputy Chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force