HARTFORD MAN INVOLVED IN DRUG TRAFFICKING
RING SENTENCED TO FIVE YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON
The United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut today announced that MICHAEL PETTUS, also known as “Michael Dixon,” 27, of Gillette Street, Hartford, was sentenced today by Senior United States District Judge Ellen Bree Burns in New Haven to 60 months of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release, for distributing crack cocaine in Hartford.
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 have been charged with various federal drug and firearms violations.
According to court documents and statements made in court, one of the initial targets of the narcotics investigation was Joseph Smith, also known as “Nitty.” The investigation revealed that PETTUS regularly purchased multi-gram quantities of crack cocaine from Smith for distribution to PETTUS’ own customers. Over a 45-day period in March and April 2010, investigators intercepted 71 calls between PETTUS and Smith that pertained to narcotics trafficking.
On April 7, 2011, PETTUS pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base (“crack cocaine”).
On June 29, 2011, Smith pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 280 grams or more of cocaine base. He awaits sentencing.
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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