20 Charged after FBI Task Force Investigation into Hartford Drug Trafficking
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, Patricia M. Ferrick, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Hartford Police Chief James C. Rovella, today announced that 20 individuals have been charged with federal narcotics offenses related to the distribution of crack cocaine in Hartford’s North End.
According to allegations made in court, this matter stems from joint law enforcement investigation headed by the FBI’s Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes Task Force that targeted a drug trafficking organization operating in Hartford’s North End that was distributing crack and powder cocaine. The investigation revealed that DAVID GIL-GRANDE of Manchester received shipments of cocaine, secreted in sealed coffee cans, from Puerto Rico. GIL-GRANDE supplied cocaine to GERARD BROWN, a.k.a. “Goldie,” ANTHONY SHELTON, a.k.a. “Pretty,” and TREVON TERRY, a.k.a. “B.J.,” who converted much of the cocaine into crack cocaine and distributed both forms of the drug to others for street sale in the area of Barbour Street in Hartford.
The investigation has included the use of court-authorized wiretaps, physical surveillance, controlled drug purchases and seizures of drugs, a firearm, body armor, more than $150,000 in cash, two vehicles and jewelry.
Charged in a 38-count indictment, which was returned by a federal grand jury in Hartford on January 28, 2016, are:
DAVID GIL-GRANDE, 28, of Manchester
ANTHONY SHELTON, a.k.a. “Pretty,” 37, of Hartford
GERARD BROWN, a.k.a. “Gerald Brown” and “Goldie,” 35, of Hartford
TREVON TERRY, a.k.a. “B.J.,” 37, of Newington
NORKA SANCHEZ, 35, of Manchester
LUIS CRUZ, a.k.a. “Gordo,” 37, of Hartford
LONNIE ARNOLD, 35, of Hartford
NATISHA BROWN, 33, of Hartford
EUGENE McCLARY, a.k.a. “Chalk,” 35, of Hartford
CHARLES MORELAND, a.k.a. “Chuck,” 49, of Hartford
JIMMIE SMITH, a.k.a. “Prime,” 43, of Hartford
WILLIAM BRASWELL, a.k.a. “Skills,” “Bubba Skillet” and “Handsome,” 44, of Hartford
DION SMITH, a.k.a. “Uncle Block, 47, of Hartford
RICHARD DURRANT, a.k.a. “Face,” 31, of Hartford
JULIUS NELSON, 31, of Meriden
ANTHONY McKENZIE, 54, of Manchester
ANDRE CARTAGENA, 28, of Hartford
HERIBERTO LEBRON, 33, of Hartford
CARLOS RIVERA, a.k.a. “Los,” 26, of Hartford
ROBERT JONES, a.k.a “Y.O.,” 30, of Hartford
On January 21, 2016, investigators arrested GIL-GRANDE, GERARD BROWN, TERRY and SANCHEZ at their respective residences. SHELTON was arrested the following day at a hotel in Branford.
The investigation culminated yesterday with the arrests of CRUZ, NATISHA BROWN, McCLARY, MORELAND, BRASWELL, DION SMITH, NELSON, McKENZIE, CARTAGENA, RIVERA and JONES.
LEBRON is currently in state custody.
(*ARNOLD, JIMMIE SMITH and DURRANT are currently being sought by law enforcement. Citizens with knowledge of their whereabouts, or with information that may be helpful the investigation of this matter, are encouraged to call the FBI at 203-777-6311.)
The indictment charges GIL-GRANDE, SHELTON, GERARD BROWN, TERRY, SANCHEZ, CRUZ, ARNOLD, NATISHA BROWN, McCLARY, MORELAND, JIMMIE SMITH, BRASWELL, DION SMITH and DURRANT with conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute narcotics. If convicted of this charge, based on the type and quantity of narcotics charged, GIL-GRANDE, SHELTON, GERARD BROWN, TERRY and SANCHEZ face a minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life; CRUZ, ARNOLD, NATISHA BROWN, McCLARY, MORELAND and JIMMIE SMITH face a minimum term of imprisonment of five years and a maximum term of imprisonment of 40 years, and BRASWELL, DION SMITH and DURRANT face a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.
SHELTON, GERARD BROWN, TERRY are charged with one or more counts of possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, various quantities of crack cocaine, and GERARD BROWN, McKENZIE, CARTAGENA, LEBRON, RIVERA, and JONES are charged with one or more counts of possession with intent to distribute narcotics.
NELSON, McKENZIE, CARTAGENA, LEBRON, RIVERA and JONES are charged with use of telephone to facilitate the distribution of controlled substances, a charge that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of four years.
Finally, the indictment charges SHELTON with one count of possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years, and one count of possession of body armor by a violent felon, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of three years.
U.S. Attorney Daly 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 matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes Task Force, which includes members of the Hartford Police Department, East Hartford Police Department, Connecticut State Police and Connecticut Department of Correction. The Hartford Police Department’s Vice and Narcotics Squad and the Drug Enforcement Administration are providing valuable assistance to the investigation.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian P. Leaming.