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Press Release

Hartford Crack Dealer Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Prison

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

Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that JOSHUA EASTERLING, also known as “Skeet,” “Squash” and “SQ,” 28, of Hartford, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Alvin W. Thompson in Hartford to 120 months of imprisonment, followed by eight years of supervised release, for distributing crack cocaine.

This matter stems from “Operation Vinefield,” a joint law enforcement investigation headed by the FBI’s Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes Task Force targeting narcotics trafficking and gang violence in Hartford’s North End.  As a result of the nine-month investigation, 38 individuals were charged with various offenses related to the distribution of crack cocaine and the unlawful possession and dealing of firearms in and around Hartford.

According to court documents and statements made in court, the investigation revealed EASTERLING controlled the distribution of crack cocaine in Hartford’s lower Vine Street area.  EASTERLING distributed crack to other street-level dealers, and also sold the drug directly to customers.

During the investigation, EASTERLING’s drug trafficking organization was responsible for distributing more than six kilograms of crack.

EASTERLING’s criminal history includes several felony convictions.

EASTERLING has been detained since his arrest on February 23, 2012, and he pleaded guilty on February 15, 2013.

This matter was investigated by the FBI’s Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes Task Force, the Connecticut State Police, the Hartford Police Department, and the Connecticut Department of Correction.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian P. Leaming.

Updated May 18, 2015