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News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 2, 2005

HARTFORD COCAINE TRAFFICKER SENTENCED TO FEDERAL PRISON

Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration in New England and Kevin J. O'Connor, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that JERMAINE CLARKE, age 29, of Hartford, Connecticut, was sentenced today to 30 months of imprisonment, followed by four years of supervised release, for trafficking cocaine. United States District Judge Alvin W. Thompson imposed sentence this morning in Hartford federal court. CLARKE is subject to deportation to Jamaica upon completion of his term of imprisonment.

On July 25, 2002, CLARKE pleaded guilty to an Indictment charging him with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine. The charge stems from CLARKE's attempt to smuggle three kilograms of cocaine aboard a Continental Airlines flight departing Bradley International Airport.

As revealed in court proceedings, on July 21, 2000, CLARKE and John Butler, who was also charged in this matter, arrived at Bradley International Airport minutes before Continental Airlines Flight No. 3681 was about to depart for Los Angeles, California. CLARKE and Butler paid cash for two one-way tickets and then boarded the flight. Butler was carrying a gym bag that concealed three kilograms of cocaine. Before the flight departed, CLARKE and Butler were removed from the flight to speak with agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the flight ultimately left without them. Butler left the bag containing the three kilograms of cocaine under the seat in front of him. The cocaine was discovered by a flight attendant during the lay-over in Cleveland, Ohio.

As revealed in earlier court proceedings, Butler had smuggled the three kilograms from California to Hartford the previous day. However, CLARKE and co-conspirator Anthony Chavis inspected the cocaine and decided to return it since it was of poor quality. CLARKE acknowledged during his guilty plea that he and Butler intended to return the three kilograms of cocaine to another individual in Los Angeles.

On February 15, 2005, Butler was sentenced by Judge Thompson to 60 months of imprisonment. On December 22, 2003, Chavis was sentenced by Senior United States District Judge Alfred V. Covello to 120 months of imprisonment.

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

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