Five Bridgeport Men Convicted of Narcotics Trafficking Offenses
Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England, today announced that, on October 14, a federal jury in Bridgeport found the following five men guilty of narcotics trafficking offenses:
WALLACE BEST, also known as “Coop,” 55, of Bridgeport
JEFFREY THOMAS, also known as “Zig,” 49, of Bridgeport
JASON COX, 48, of Bridgeport, and Savannah, Georgia
FRANK JAMONT BEST, also known as “JB,” and “Cash,” 49, of Bridgeport
LAMONT D. JEFFERIES, 55, of Bridgeport
According to court documents and statements made in court, in 2019, the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Bridgeport High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force began investigating an organization that was distributing heroin, fentanyl and crack cocaine in an around Bridgeport. During the investigation, Task Force members made four controlled purchases of heroin and fentanyl from Frank Best. The investigation, which included court-authorized wiretaps and hundreds of consensual recordings, revealed that Frank Best’s uncles, Wallace Best and Jeffrey Thomas, were supplying Frank Best and others with narcotics. In addition, Lamont Jefferies received heroin from Frank Best that he distributed to his own customers.
The investigation further revealed that Jeffrey Thomas worked with Jason Cox to establish a connection to Mexican-sourced drug suppliers in California who could provide kilogram quantities of narcotics for distribution on the East Coast. In December 2019, a cooperating source working in conjunction with Wallace Best, Thomas, and Cox, traveled to a Home Depot parking lot in San Diego and purchased from their suppliers 1.1 kilograms of fentanyl, cut with Xylazine, which is a veterinary sedative, and Tramadol, in exchange for $27,000. After this successful transaction, the conspirators arranged to purchase five kilograms of heroin from their Mexican suppliers. On February 10, 2020, four individuals were arrested after they arrived at the same parking lot to conduct the transaction and investigators seized a box containing approximately 4.9 kilograms of heroin. A related search of a storage locker in San Diego revealed an additional five kilograms of heroin.
The jury found Wallace Best, Thomas and Cox guilty of one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute kilogram quantities of heroin and fentanyl, and Wallace Best, Thomas, Frank Best and Jefferies guilty of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute heroin, fentanyl and cocaine base (“crack”). In addition, Frank Best was found guilty of five counts of possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine base. The jury also found that Wallace Best, Thomas and Cox had previously been convicted of serious drug felonies, exposing each of them to enhanced sentences.
This matter has been investigated by the DEA’s Bridgeport HIDTA Task Force with the assistance of the DEA San Diego Field Division. The DEA’s Bridgeport HIDTA Task Force includes personnel from the DEA Bridgeport Resident Office, the Connecticut State Police, and the Bridgeport, Norwalk, Stamford, Stratford, Milford and Danbury Police Departments.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Karen L. Peck, Lauren C. Clark and Katherine E. Boyles through the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Program. OCDETF identifies, disrupts and dismantles drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs and transnational criminal organizations through a prosecutor-led and intelligence-driven approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.