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Press Release

Hartford Man Pleads Guilty to Crack Cocaine Distribution Charge

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

Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that COURTNEY BYRD, also known as “Buck,” 31, of Hartford, pleaded guilty yesterday before U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea in Hartford to one count of distributing cocaine base (“crack cocaine”).

According to court documents and statements made in court, in February and March 2015, BYRD distributed approximately 98 grams of crack cocaine to an individual working with law enforcement.

On March 5, 2015, BYRD twice fled at a high rate of speed from law enforcement officers who were attempting to stop his vehicle, first in East Hartford and then in Hartford.  During his second flight, BYRD hit a pedestrian in the area of Ann Uccello Street and Church Street in Hartford.  The victim suffered a broken leg.  A six-year-old child was in BYRD’s car at the time.

BYRD was arrested on March 19, 2015.

Judge Shea scheduled sentencing for November 23, 2015, at which time BYRD faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.

BYRD, whose criminal history includes multiple felony convictions, has been detained since his arrest.

This prosecution stems from Project Longevity, a comprehensive initiative to reduce gun violence in Connecticut’s major cities. Through Project Longevity, community members and law enforcement directly engage with members of groups that are prone to commit violence.  A critical component of the Project Longevity strategy is the “call-in,” a face-to-face meeting where Project Longevity partners engage group members and deliver a community message against violence, a law enforcement message about the consequences of further violence and an offer of help for those who want it.  BYRD attended a call-in in August 2014.

This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes Task Force, the U.S. Marshals Service and the Hartford Police Department.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Gustafson.

Updated August 27, 2015

Drug Trafficking