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Press Release

Hamden Man Sentenced to 5 Years in Federal Prison for Firearm Offense

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

Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that RASHAWN SAMMS, 30, of Hamden, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Sarala V. Nagala in Hartford to 60 months of imprisonment, followed by two years of supervised release, for unlawfully possessing a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.

According to court documents and statements made in court, on June 4, 2022, New Haven Police officers arrested Samms on state charges after he conducted a hand-to-hand drug transaction from his car and officers found him in possession of a loaded Smith & Wesson .40 caliber handgun, distribution quantities of cocaine, crack, fentanyl, and marijuana; two digital scales; and $628 in cash.

Analysis of the seized handgun, which was not registered to Samms, revealed that it had been purchased at a pawn shop in South Carolina in November 2018, and had been used in two shots-fired incidents in Hartford in 2021.

On April 3, 2023, Samms pleaded guilty in federal court to possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.  Samms has been detained since that date.

This investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the New Haven Police Department.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tara E. Levens through the Justice’s Department’s Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) program.

PSN, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts, 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 June 26, 2023

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses