Bridgeport Drug Lord Sentenced To Life In 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, announced that QUINNE POWELL, also known as “Q,” age 38, formerly of 180/182 Weber Avenue, Bridgeport, was sentenced today by Senior United States District Judge Alan H. Nevas in Bridgeport to a lifetime term of imprisonment for his participation in a racketeering enterprise that for a decade distributed narcotics throughout Bridgeport’s East Side and within the Greens Homes Housing Project on the city’s West Side of Bridgeport. Judge Nevas also ordered POWELL to pay a fine in the amount of $100,000.
On June 3, 2005, a federal jury convicted POWELL and his nephew, DAMON WALKER, also known as “Bucky,” age 31, formerly of 159 William Street, Bridgeport, of various charges including racketeering (“RICO”), RICO conspiracy, multiple counts of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of “crack” cocaine, and obstruction of justice. POWELL was also convicted of conspiracy to launder narcotics trafficking proceeds, which was related to a scheme to purchase luxury automobiles with drug proceeds that were then registered in the names of other or fictitious persons.
On November 21, 2005, Judge Nevas sentenced WALKER to 300 months of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release.
“For years, these defendants’ drug trafficking activities help to ruin both lives and the quality of life in the neighborhoods where they operated,” U.S. Attorney O’Connor stated. “The federal penalties for large-scale drug trafficking are severe. I want to congratulate the DEA, FBI, Bridgeport Police and all who have assisted in taking down this operation and bringing these individuals to justice.”
Today, Judge Nevas sentenced POWELL to five lifetime terms of imprisonment – one each for RICO and RICO conspiracy and a lifetime term on each of his three drug conspiracy convictions, a 10-year term of imprisonment on each of his two obstruction of justice convictions, and a 20-year term of imprisonment for conspiring to launder his drug proceeds.
According to evidence presented at trial, the charges against POWELL and WALKER arose out of an extensive investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bridgeport Police Department into narcotics trafficking activity in and around the area of White and Huron Streets on the East Side of Bridgeport. It was disclosed during the trial that POWELL and Aaron Harris, who is presently serving a lifetime term of imprisonment after his November 2000 conviction for related narcotics trafficking charges, established, controlled and propagated a lucrative, 24-hour crack cocaine enterprise in which members of the organization carried firearms that they used to protect their drug enterprise and to intimidate workers.
A number of former street-level employees of the organization provided crucial testimony that led to the convictions of POWELL and WALKER. Their testimony was corroborated by the testimony of numerous Bridgeport Police Officers who made hundreds of arrests in the area for narcotics trafficking and possession, and who seized distinctive vials containing crack cocaine in the area.
Members of the East Side enterprise took the initials of POWELL and Harris’ first names and began identifying themselves, and soon came to be known, as “Q & A” and “The Q & A Mob.”
The Q&A gang rapidly earned a reputation for violence. For example, it was disclosed during the trial that WALKER had threatened to kill uniformed Bridgeport Police officers. Other members, including POWELL, would shoot people who posed a threat to the enterprise. During the month-long trial, one witness recounted an incident in which HARRIS pointed a loaded firearm with a silencer at him and threatened to shoot him “for being stupid.”
From 1995 through 1998, the Q&A Mob became locked in open warfare with members of a rival narcotics trafficking gang from Beardsley Terrace, which resulted in the deaths of several members of the Terrace drug trafficking group. As part of POWELL’s racketeering conviction, the jury found that POWELL participated in a conspiracy to murder members of the rival Terrace narcotics trafficking organization.
During the trial, former members of the organization testified that POWELL and WALKER, while in jail awaiting trial on federal narcotics trafficking charges, threatened them with violence for cooperating with the government’s ongoing investigation and prosecution. This testimony led to the pair’s conviction for obstructing justice.
It was further disclosed during the trial that WALKER held a supervisory role in the East Side enterprise and later supervised the distribution of crack cocaine in the West Side Greens Homes Housing Project. Many members of the East Side and Greens Homes enterprises were later employed by another violent narcotics trafficking enterprise that distributed heroin and crack in the P.T. Barnum Housing Project. This enterprise was established and managed by Harris and members of the Jones family, including Luke Jones, Lonnie T. Jones, Leonard T. Jones, Lyle T. Jones, Jr., and Lance T. Jones. With the exception of Lance Jones, who is serving an effective sentence of 54 years of imprisonment, all of the other JONES family members who were members of the enterprise are currently serving lifetime terms of imprisonment for a variety of offenses including narcotics trafficking, racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, conspiracy to commit murder and firearms-related offenses.
In addition, Willie Nunley and Leslie Morris, two lieutenants in the organization, are serving mandatory lifetime terms of federal imprisonment for the murder of Kenneth Porter, who was shot and killed in broad daylight in the P.T. Barnum Housing Project in 1998.