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Bridgeport Man Sentenced to More Than Nine Years in Federal Prison for Distributing Cocaine

HARTFORD, CT. – Steven W. Derr, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England and David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that Terence McNichol, also known as “Peanut,” 37, of Bridgeport, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Robert N. Chatigny in Hartford to 115 months of imprisonment, followed by four years of supervised release, for his role in a narcotics trafficking ring.

This matter stems from “Operation Hammertime,” a four-month DEA Task Force wiretap investigation that resulted in 20 individuals being charged with various narcotics and firearms offenses related to the distribution of cocaine and crack cocaine in the greater Norwalk area. According to court documents and statements made in court, during the course of the investigation, McNichol regularly purchased cocaine in 20-gram packages from co-defendant Gavin Hammett, and then redistributed the cocaine in smaller quantities for profit.

In addition, in May and June 2010, McNichol traveled several times with Hammett and other members of the conspiracy from Connecticut to the Bronx, N.Y. to deliver thousands of dollars in cash to Hammett’s cocaine supplier and to pick-up large quantities of cocaine. Hammett then converted some of the cocaine into crack cocaine and sold the cocaine and crack to a wide customer base in Connecticut.

On June 30, 2011, McNichol pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine.

McNichol, whose criminal history includes six prior felony convictions for selling narcotics, has been detained since his arrest on June 17, 2010.

During the investigation, law enforcement officers seized more than one kilogram of cocaine, more than 200 grams of crack cocaine, multiple bundles of heroin, more than $100,000 in cash, seven vehicles and two firearms.

Hammett has pleaded guilty and is scheduled to be sentenced on October 13, 2011.

This matter was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Bridgeport High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force, which includes members of the Bridgeport, Stamford, Norwalk and Stratford Police Departments, and the Connecticut State Police. Substantial assistance to the investigation was provided by the Norwalk Police Department’s Special Services Squad and the Stamford Police Department’s Narcotics and Organized Crime Squad. The United States Marshals Service and the Bridgeport Police Department assisted in the arrests of the defendants.

This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s New Haven Safe Streets Task Force (composed of members of members of the New Haven, Ansonia, Milford and East Haven Police Department, and the Connecticut State Police and the Connecticut Department of Correction), the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Haven Task Force (composed of members of the New Haven, West Haven, Meriden, Ansonia, Hamden and Branford Police Departments), along with substantial participation by members of the New Haven and Hamden Police Departments. The United States Marshals Service also has assisted the investigation.

The investigation was funded in significant part by the United States Attorney’s Office Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force and supported by the Office’s Project Safe Neighborhoods and Anti-Gang programs.


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