FBI TASK FORCE INVESTIGATION INTO BRIDGEPORT
DRUG TRAFFICKING AND VIOLENCE RESULTS IN SIX ARRESTS
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Kimberly K. Mertz, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, today announced that six Bridgeport men were arrested yesterday on federal criminal complaints as part of an FBI Bridgeport Safe Streets Task Force investigation into narcotics trafficking and violence in and around the Trumbull Gardens housing complex in Bridgeport.
According to statements made in court, the FBI Bridgeport Safe Streets Task Force, in conjunction with the Connecticut State Police Statewide Narcotics Task Force and other law enforcement agencies, has been conducting an investigation of narcotics trafficking activity and violent criminal activity in the Trumbull Gardens housing complex in Bridgeport. As alleged, the investigation revealed that several individuals sold narcotics from parking lots within Trumbull Gardens and utilized lookouts to detect the presence of law enforcement. During the course of the investigation, Task Force officers made dozens of controlled purchases of narcotics from HASSAN ROGERS, 42, RASHIM CARTER, 24, JAMIEL THOMPSON, 22, MICHAEL NEWSOME, 29, and others. Officers also purchased a firearm, through ROGERS, from ALEX SANTANA, 18.
“Through these and similar prosecutions, the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s commitment to stem the violence in our largest cities should be clearly demonstrated,” U.S. Attorney Fein stated. “I want to commend all of the agents and officers involved in this investigation. Day in and day out, they put their lives on the line to protect the public and improve the safety of the Bridgeport community.”
“The FBI and its state and local law enforcement partners executed federal arrest warrants in Bridgeport yesterday in an effort to address crimes which negatively impact quality of life, especially in Connecticut’s cities,” stated FBI Special Agent in Charge Mertz. “We want to recognize the hard work of the Connecticut State Police Statewide Narcotics Unit and the Bridgeport, Trumbull and Norwalk Police Departments in this ongoing investigation. The safety and well-being of the citizens of Connecticut is, and always will be, paramount.”
During the course of yesterday’s law enforcement operation, Task Force officers attempted to speak to JEFFREY THOMAS, 21, who was driving a car that had stopped on the side of the road in the vicinity of Old Town Road and Oman Street in Trumbull. As Task Force officers approached, it is alleged that THOMAS put the car in reverse, ramming the Task Force officers’ car behind him. THOMAS then drove at two FBI agents, who were able to avoid being struck; one of the agents fired his gun in an effort to protect himself and the other agents. With officers in pursuit, THOMAS drove away but crashed his vehicle. He fled into a residence on Voight Street, where he was subsequently apprehended.
ROGERS, CARTER, THOMPSON and NEWSOME are each charged with possession with intent to distribute heroin, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years. ROGERS and SANTANA are each charged with unlawful sale of a firearm, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years. CARTER is also charged with witness intimidation, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years. THOMAS is charged with assault on federal officers, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.
The defendants appeared yesterday before United States Magistrate Judge William I. Garfinkel in Bridgeport and are presently detained.
U.S. Attorney Fein stressed that a complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This matter is being investigated by the FBI’s Bridgeport Safe Streets Task Force, which includes the Bridgeport, Norwalk, and Trumbull Police Departments, in coordination with the Connecticut State Police Statewide Narcotics Task Force.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Tracy Lee Dayton and Rahul Kale.
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