NEW HAVEN MAN CHARGED WITH DRUG AND GUN OFFENSES
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that a federal grand jury sitting in New Haven has returned an indictment charging RUFUS SPEARMAN, 36, of New Haven, with one count of possession with intent to distribute MDMA (“Ecstasy”), one count of possessing a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime, and one count of possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon. The indictment was returned on December 4.
According to allegations contained in court documents, during a police pursuit on November 10, 2012, SPEARMAN discarded a loaded .50 AE caliber semi-automatic pistol underneath the front porch of a residence on Clover Place in New Haven. He was apprehended a short time later and the firearm was recovered. A search of SPEARMAN’s person revealed 13 Ecstasy capsules.
The indictment alleges that, prior to November 2012, SPEARMAN was convicted in Connecticut Superior Court of sale of hallucinogen/narcotics, possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, arson in the first degree and conspiracy to commit arson in the first degree.
It is a violation of federal law for a person previously convicted of a felony offense to possess a firearm or ammunition that has moved in interstate or foreign commerce.
The charge of possession with intent to distribute MDMA carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years. The charge of possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years. The charge of possessing a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime carries a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life, which must run consecutively to any sentence imposed on any other count of conviction.
SPEARMAN has been detained in federal custody since November 29, 2012.
U.S. Attorney Fein stressed that an indictment 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 case is being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the New Haven Police Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Anthony E. Kaplan.
The Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative is aimed at reducing gun and gang violence, deterring illegal possession of guns, and improving the safety of residents of Connecticut’s cities.
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