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News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 24, 2005

Two New Haven Area Crack Dealers Sentenced to Federal Prison

June W. Stansbury, 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, today announced that two defendants were sentenced on October 20 in Bridgeport federal court for their involvement in a “crack” cocaine and powder cocaine distribution ring. United States District Judge Janet C. Hall sentenced EDWARD HINES, also known as “Junior,” age 30, of 362 Putnam Avenue, Hamden, Connecticut, to 80 months of imprisonment followed by five years of supervised release, and KEEROME SUGGS, age 25, of 440 Valley Street, New Haven, to 132 months of imprisonment followed by seven years of supervised release. Both HINES and SUGGS previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute cocaine base (“crack” cocaine).

These charges stem from an investigation conducted by the New Haven Drug Task Force, 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 Julius Moorning and his associates. A variety of traditional and sophisticated investigative techniques were employed by the Task Force, including court-authorized wiretaps. The investigation disclosed that Moorning and his associates, HINES, Rodney Nelson and Michele Groom, were obtaining large quantities of crack and powder cocaine and transporting it to New Haven for resale. The crack and cocaine were 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 in April 2004, and they were subsequently indicted on federal drug conspiracy charges with 45 other individuals, including SUGGS. In association with searches conducted at the time the defendants in this matter were arrested, a large quantity of crack cocaine and more than $88,000 was seized by law enforcement.

In May, Judge Hall sentenced Groom to 120 months of imprisonment and six years of supervised release. In September, Nelson was sentenced to 144 months of imprisonment and five years of supervised release. Moorning awaits sentencing.

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