WASHINGTON - A Bridgeport, Conn., man was sentenced on Monday by U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill to life in prison for his role in the murder of three Bridgeport residents in August 2005, said Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney David B. Fein for the District of Connecticut
Azikiwe Aquart, aka “Z” and “Ziggy,” 32, pleaded guilty on Aug. 26, 2011, to three counts of murder in aid of racketeering. In pleading guilty, Aquart admitted that he agreed to participate in what he believed would be a robbery with his brother and others. Aquart admitted that after he and his co-conspirators entered the apartment, he murdered James Reid, while other participants in the crime murdered Tina Johnson and Basil Williams.
According to court documents, statements made in court and evidence introduced during the spring 2011 trial of Azibo Aquart, Azikiwe Aquart’s brother, Azibo Aquart was the founder and leader of a drug trafficking group that primarily sold crack cocaine out of an apartment building on Charles Street in Bridgeport. Azibo Aquart and his associates participated in acts of violence, such as threats and assaults, to maintain their control over the group’s drug distribution activities at the Charles Street Apartments. In the summer of 2005, Azibo Aquart and his associates became involved in a drug trafficking dispute with Johnson, a resident of Charles Street Apartments who sometimes sold smaller quantities of crack cocaine without the approval of Azibo Aquart. On the morning of Aug. 24, 2005, Azibo Aquart, Azikiwe Aquart and others entered an apartment at the Charles Street housing facility and murdered Johnson, her boyfriend Reid and her friend Williams. The three victims were bound with duct tape and brutally beaten to death with baseball bats.
On May 23, 2011, after a month-long trial, a federal jury in New Haven, Conn., found Azibo Aquart guilty of the murders of Johnson, Reid and Williams. On June 15, 2011, the jury voted unanimously to impose the federal death penalty against Azibo Aquart for his role in the murders.
This case was investigated by the FBI, Bridgeport Police Department, Connecticut State Police, Connecticut Department of Correction’s Intelligence Unit, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement - Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Marshals Service, Bridgeport States Attorney’s Office and U.S. Attorney’s Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tracy L. Dayton, Peter D. Markle, Alina P. Reynolds of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut, and Trial Attorney Jacabed Rodriguez-Coss of the Criminal Division’s Capital Case Unit.