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Press Release

Armed Norwich Fentanyl Dealer Sentenced to 5 Years in Federal Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Connecticut

Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that JAMES BAKER, 37, of Norwich, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Kari A. Dooley in Bridgeport to 60 months of imprisonment, followed by four years of supervised release, for possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

According to court documents and statements made in court, on February 3, 2021, Norwich Police stopped Baker for a motor vehicle violation and found a loaded, .380 caliber semi-automatic pistol under the driver’s seat of the vehicle, and more than 600 bags of fentanyl on his person.

Baker’s criminal history includes state felony convictions for assault, burglary, weapon and drug offenses.  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.

Baker has been detained since February 3, 2021.  On June 27, 2022, he pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

This investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Norwich Police Department.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Natasha M. Freismuth through the Justice’s Department’s Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) program.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

Updated September 27, 2022

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses