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Press Release

Hartford Man Sentenced To 15 Years For His Role In A Drug Conspiracy

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

Deirdre M. Daly, the United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that DEMENTRIUS NAVE, also known as Cunny, age 35, of Hartford, was sentenced on August 21, 2014, to 15 years of imprisonment by United States District Judge Alvin W. Thompson for his role in a narcotics conspiracy.  Upon completion of his prison term, NAVE will be placed on supervised release for five years. Federal agents arrested NAVE on February 12, 2012, following a wiretap investigation that targeted NAVE and his co-conspirators in the unlawful distribution of narcotics.  The co-conspirators charged with NAVE included Rakent BUNKLEY, also known as “Kent Street,” Tyrone CRUMP, also known as KT, Justin POWELL, also known as “Jus,” and KEVIN ALLEN, all of whom have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.  NAVE was held in custody since his arrest.

NAVE pleaded guilty in November 2013 to conspiring to distribute crack cocaine.  According to court filings and statements made in court, NAVE was indicted in 2012 as part of Operation Vinefield, an investigation conducted by the FBI-sponsored Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes and Gang Task Force into gang and narcotics activity on Vine and Enfield Streets in Hartford’s North End.  A total of 38 individuals were charged in multiple indictments as part of Operation Vinefield.  Federal, state and local investigators began investigating NAVE immediately after he was released from the Connecticut Department of Correction on November 4, 2011.

NAVE has an extensive criminal history that includes a prior federal conviction for unlawfully possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.  NAVE also gained local notoriety in 2006 when two women were murdered on separate occasions while being with NAVE.  On January 30, 2006, Wendy Williams was shot and killed while she sat in a car in the Nelton Court housing project.  According to the Hartford Police Department, NAVE was in the car and the apparent target when Williams was murdered.  On February 23, 2006, Sara Palenza was killed when she was shot in the head while a passenger in a car driven by NAVE on Albany Avenue.

This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Hartford Police Department, and Connecticut State Police.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Brian P. Leaming.


Tom Carson
(203) 821-3722

Updated March 18, 2015