News Release
For Immediate Release:
March 18, 2010
Contact: Special Agent Tony Pettigrew
Number: 617-557-2138

Two Norwich Residents Involved In Drug Ring Sentenced To Federal Prison

MAR 18 -- Steven W. Derr, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England and Nora R. Dannehy, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that two Norwich residents were sentenced today by United States District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport for their roles in a drug distribution ring. SAKINAH SWINTON, also known as “Sakinah Banks,” 38, was sentenced to 27 months of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release, and CAMERON ANDREWS, also known as “Cam” and “Sherman Anderson,” 30, was sentenced to 60 months of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release. On December 4, 2009, SWINTON and ANDREWS each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin.

According to court documents and statements made in court, on June 10, 2008, Texas State Police conducted a motor in Oldham County, Texas, stopped a rental vehicle driven by Kareem Swinton, with his wife, SAKINAH SWINTON, occupying the front passenger seat. A subsequent search of the car revealed approximately two kilograms of cocaine and more than two pounds of marijuana that Kareem Swinton was transporting from Arizona to Connecticut for distribution. Kareem Swinton was arrested and released on bond. However, on June 12, after he returned to Connecticut, he was arrested for violation of probation.

While Kareem Swinton was incarcerated, the Connecticut Department of Correction intercepted two letters that he sent to SAKINAH SWINTON. One letter provided specific instructions to SAKINAH SWINTON on how she should operate the narcotics distribution business, and the second letter provided her with a detailed recipe to “cook,” or convert, crack cocaine from powder cocaine.

ANDREWS sold drugs for the SWINTONS. On July 24, 2008, a law enforcement search of his residence revealed, heroin, cash, paraphernalia used in the distribution of narcotics, and directions on how to cook crack cocaine.

On April 6, 2009, Kareem Swinton pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five grams or more of cocaine base (“crack”) and 500 grams or more of cocaine. On August 20, 2009, he was sentenced to 100 months of imprisonment, followed by four years of supervised release.

SAKINAH SWINTON and ANDREWS have been detained since their arrests on July 24, 2008.

This prosecution is part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative and a long-term, coordinated investigation dubbed “Operation Jersey Barrier,” which was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Norwich Police Department, and the Connecticut State Police’s Statewide Narcotics Task Force. The Texas Department of Public Safety assisted the investigation.