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Press Release

Felon Involved in Hartford Shootout Sentenced to More Than 6 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 DUDLEY, also known as “Pooka,” 36, of Hartford, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Kari A. Dooley in Bridgeport to 77 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for illegally possessing a firearm, and for violating the conditions of his supervised release from a prior federal conviction.

According to court documents and statements made in court, in the early morning hours of October 4, 2020, Hartford Police officers responded to Addison Street after hearing gunfire in the area.  As a car containing Dudley attempted to flee the scene, an officer on foot ordered it to stop.  The driver put the car in reverse and drove at a high rate of speed before striking a parked vehicle and injuring a woman who was about to enter the car.  Dudley then threw a .40 caliber pistol from the car as it successfully fled.

The recovered pistol had a magazine inserted and its slide locked back, indicating that the gun was fired until empty.  Officers also recovered numerous .40 caliber and 9mm shell casings from the area.  According to the ShotSpotter detection system, 26 shots were fired during the incident.

Subsequent forensic analysis of the seized firearm revealed Dudley’s DNA.  Dudley was arrested on April 11, 2022.

Dudley’s criminal history includes state convictions for robbery and narcotics offenses, and federal convictions for firearm and drug offenses for which he served 52 months of imprisonment.  He was released from federal prison in November 2018 and was on supervised release at the time of the shooting incident in this case.

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.

Dudley has been detained since his arrest.  On May 4, 2022, he pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon.

This case was investigated by the Hartford Police Department and the FBI’s Northern Connecticut Gang Task Force, with the assistance of the Connecticut Forensic Science Laboratory.  The Task Force includes members of the Hartford Police Department, East Hartford Police Department, New Britain Police Department, West Hartford Police Department, Connecticut State Police and Connecticut Department of Correction.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian P. Leaming through the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) initiative.  PSN is a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  In May 2021, the Justice Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: Fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

Updated March 10, 2023

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime
Firearms Offenses