States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
|July 30, 2010||
MARIJUANA TRAFFICKER SENTENCED TO 70 MONTHS IN FEDERAL PRISON
David B. Fein, United States for the District of Connecticut, announced that DAVID ECCLESTON, also known as “Sparkle D,” “Ivan Chinnery” and “Frederick Mullings,” 46, a citizen of Jamaica, was sentenced today by Chief United States District Judge Alvin W. Thompson in Hartford to 70 months of imprisonment, followed by 15 years of supervised release, for marijuana trafficking and federal immigration offenses. On March 24, 2009, ECCLESTON pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute 100 kilograms or more of marijuana, one count of illegal reentry of the United States by a convicted felon, and one count of possession of a false U.S. passport.
According to court documents and statements made in court, in January 2008, the New Haven Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force received information relating to 400 pounds of marijuana that was being transported from the southwest to individuals in the New Haven area. Subsequent investigation revealed that ECCLESTON was the source of the marijuana shipment. On January 22, 2008, two New Haven residents, Rowan E. Laidlaw and Kadyann Brown were arrested in East Haven after they attempted to meet an individual delivering the shipment of marijuana. ECCLESTON was arrested in New Jersey on April 16, 2008.
ECCLESTON has admitted that, on six to eight occasions in 2007 and 2008, he employed a female courier to transport 100 to 400 pound shipments of marijuana from the southwest United States to locations in the eastern United States, including Connecticut.
ECCLESTON had illegally reentered the United States after being deported to Jamaica in May 2003 following a drug felony conviction, and also was in possession of a false U.S. passport at the time of his arrest in this case.
ECCLESTON has forfeited approximately $210,000 in U.S. currency that was seized from him at the time of his arrest.
ECCLESTON has been incarcerated since his arrest, and will be deported at the conclusion of his prison term.
Laidlaw and Brown have pleaded guilty to federal marijuana charges. On June 28, 2010, Laidlaw was sentenced to 24 months of imprisonment. Brown awaits sentencing.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the New Haven Police Department and the West Haven Police Department, with the critical assistance of the Missouri State Police. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney H. Gordon Hall.
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