States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
|June 27, 2011||
HARTFORD MAN SENTENCED TO 71 MONTHS IN
The United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut announced that HAROLD COOK, also known as “Shai Lee Wilson,” “Oink” and “The General,” 34, formerly of Adams Street, Hartford, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant in Hartford to 71 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for illegally possessing a sawed-off shotgun.
This matter stems from “Operation Northern Strike,” a 15-month joint law enforcement investigation targeting alleged members and associates of geographically-based street gangs engaging in criminal activity in Hartford’s Upper Albany and Northeast neighborhoods. The investigation included the use of court-authorized wiretaps on multiple telephones, controlled purchases of narcotics and physical surveillance. As a result of the investigation, 35 individuals were charged with various federal drug and firearms violations.
According to court documents and statements made in court, COOK’s telephone was a target of the court-authorized wiretap. On July 25, 2010, investigators intercepted a series of calls between COOK and co-defendant David Prado that seemed to pertain to the unlawful delivery or distribution of firearms or narcotics. On the evening of July 25, law enforcement officers encountered COOK and Prado involved in a firearms transaction on the property of an abandoned building on Mansfield Street in Hartford. COOK and Prado fled on foot and Prado was apprehended a short time later. A search of the Mansfield Street property revealed a short-barrel 12-gauge shotgun, a box of shotgun shells, and two revolvers.
COOK was apprehended later that night in Hartford after he and another co-defendant engaged law enforcement officers in a high-speed chase to New Britain and back.
COOK has been detained since his federal arrest on July 27, 2010.
On April 5, 2011, COOK pleaded guilty to one count of possession of an unregistered sawed-off shot gun. David Prado, also known as “Chino,” has pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon. He awaits sentencing.
Not all of the defendants charged as a result of this investigation are alleged to be gang members or associates.
This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes Gang Task Force – which includes representatives of the FBI, Connecticut State Police and Hartford Police Department – and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Brian P. Leaming and Geoffrey M. Stone.
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