HARTFORD MAN SENTENCED TO MORE THAN
YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR DISTRIBUTING HEROIN
The United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut today announced that JAMES HARRIS, also known as “BK,” 27, of East Hartford, was sentenced today by Senior United States District Judge Ellen Bree Burns in New Haven to 110 months of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release, for distributing heroin.
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, HARRIS was involved in the purchase and sale of narcotics, primarily heroin. In addition, wiretapped conversations revealed that, after an individual attempt to rob a co-defendant, HARRIS possessed a firearm with the intention to retaliate. On May 4, 2010, Hartford Police arrested HARRIS on state drug charges in order to prevent any violence from occurring, and HARRIS remained in custody for approximately one month. After he was released in June 2010, wiretapped conversations revealed that HARRIS had disposed of the gun minutes before police stopped him.
On May 20, 2011, HARRIS pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute 100 or more grams of heroin.
HARRIS’ criminal history includes felony convictions for possession of narcotics, failure to appear in the first degree, kidnapping and burglary in the second degree.
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.
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