Major New Haven Drug Ring Taken Down, 49 Indicted
MAY 4 - DEA Task Force operation is the largest single federal drug sweep in Connecticut history Mark R. Trouville, Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge and Kevin J. O'Connor, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced the unsealing of an Indictment returned on April 30, 2004 by a grand jury sitting in New Haven. The Indictment charges 49 individuals with narcotics conspiracy violations and substantive drug distribution counts. The following individuals are charged with conspiracy to distribute "crack" cocaine:
EDWARD HINES, a/k/a "Junior"
RODNEY NELSON, a/k/a "Cease"
DE PAUL CRUDUP a/k/a "Pace"
ROBERT THOMAS, a/k/a "Brooklyn"
*KHALFANI AJAMU, a/k/a "Lance Bowers"
CRAIG MOYE, a/k/a "Craig Mack"
*JAMEL NOBLES, a/k/a "Dungeon"
KYRON DERIEN, a/k/a "K.Y."
DENNIS SIMMS, a/k/a "Diner"
JOHN NELSON, a/k/a "John Doe"
GREGORY KEETON, a/k/a "G-Grip"
TYRON LABARRON SLEDGE, a/k/a "T.Y."
MICHAEL EDMUNDSON, a/k/a "Family Mike"
If convicted, these individuals face a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of ten years, up to life in prison, five years to life of supervised release after service of their jail term, and a fine of up to $4 million.
MOORNING, HINES and STOKES are also charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and, if convicted, face up to an additional 20 years in prison, three years to life of supervised release, and a fine of up to $1 million.
GARY is also charged with possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of crack. If convicted, he faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of ten years, up to life in prison, five years to life of supervised release and a fine of up to $4 million.
EDMUNDSON, MITCHELL and ANTHONY LITTLE, DOB 1/29/83, of 21 Hill Street, New Haven, are also charged with possession with intent to distribute five grams or more of crack. If convicted, each man faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years, up to 40 years in prison, four years to life of supervised release and a fine of up to $4 million.
SUMLER, CRAFT, SLEDGE, HOWARD, NICHOLAS, ATKINSON, GRANT, LITTLE WILFREDO RODRIGUEZ, a/k/a "Puerto Rico," DOB 8/19/65, of 66 2nd Street, New Haven, and *TIMOTHY EDMUNDS, a/k/a "T.I." DOB 5/8/76, of 37 Bristol Street, New Haven, are charged with possession of "crack" with intent to distribute it. If convicted, each would face up to 20 years in prison, three years to life of supervised release and a fine of up to $1 million.
Finally, RODRIGUEZ, MATTHEW MERCER, a/k/a "Mat Mat," DOB 1/21/86, of 268 Valley Street, New Haven and FRANK PINA, DOB 5/13/59, of 473 Whaley Avenue, Apt. K, New Haven, are charged with using a telephone to facilitate a narcotics felony. Upon conviction, each would face up to four years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.
U.S. Attorney O'Connor and DEA Special Agent in Charge Trouville, joined at a press conference today by New Haven Chief of Police Francisco Ortiz and West Haven Chief of Police Russell Kniehl, stated that the Indictment arose out of an investigation conducted by the New Haven Drug Task Force, which is composed of agents and officers of the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the New Haven and West Haven Police Departments. According to information disclosed in court proceedings, in late 2003, the Task Force began an investigation into the distribution of crack cocaine throughout the New Haven area by MOORNING and his associates. A variety of traditional and sophisticated investigative techniques were employed by the Task Force, including court-authorized wiretaps, seizures of crack and the seizure of over $88,000 stored in a safe. The investigation disclosed and the indictment alleges that MOORNING and his associates, HINES, NELSON and GROOM, were obtaining large quantities of crack and powder cocaine and transporting it to New Haven for resale. The crack and cocaine was then sold to local distributors in the Newhallville, Dwight-Kensington, Hill, Fair Haven, Eastern Circle, Westville, Brookside and West Hills sections of New Haven, and in Derby and West Haven, Connecticut.
MOORNING, HINES, NELSON and GROOM were arrested on April 20, 2004, on a Complaint alleging federal drug conspiracy charges and have been ordered detained since their arrest. The Indictment unsealed today will supersede the earlier charges against these four defendants. Arrests of the other defendants began early this morning.
U.S. Attorney O'Connor stressed than an indictment is only a charge and not evidence of guilt. The defendants are entitled to a fair trial at which it is the Government's burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
"We're proud to announce that this is the largest single federal drug sweep in the history of Connecticut," U.S. Attorney O'Connor stated. " It could not have been possible without excellent federal and local cooperation that has repeatedly enabled the Task Force to dismantle significant narcotics distribution organizations in the New Haven area over the last decade."
"Julius Moorning and his co-conspirators' drug organization flooded the streets of New Haven with crack cocaine for many years. The organization has been dismantled and its leaders are now in custody and no longer pose a threat to the citizens of New Haven," said DEA Special Agent in Charge Trouville. "An investigation of this scope takes a great deal of coordination and effort and I would like to thank our law enforcement partners."
As of 3:00 p.m. today, 41 defendants have been arrested and are in custody. Citizens with information concerning the present whereabouts of AJAMU, NOBLES, HERBERT TISDALE, BEN TISDALE, SUMLER, HOWARD, CALHOUN and EDMUNDS are urged to contact the New Haven Police Department Detective Bureau at 203-946-6321.