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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Connecticut

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Hartford Man Sentenced to 51 Months in Prison for Role in Gang-Related Drug Ring

John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that DANNIE DARLING, 32, of Hartford, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant in Hartford to 51 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for distributing heroin and fentanyl.

According to court documents and statements made in court, this matter stems from an investigation conducted by the FBI’s Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes Task Force and Hartford Police Department’s Vice and Narcotics Division into the trafficking of narcotics and associated violence in Hartford’s South End by members and associates of the Almighty Latin Kings Nation (“Latin Kings”).  The investigation, which included court-authorized wiretaps, physical surveillance and controlled purchases of narcotics, revealed that two alleged members of the Latin Kings operated separate drug trafficking organizations that distributed fentanyl, heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine.  The organizations used multiple locations to process, package, store and distribute narcotics, and possessed firearms in furtherance of their drug trafficking activities.

Nelson Ferry, also known as “300,” led one of the drug trafficking organizations and operated a “trap house” at 149 Wethersfield Avenue in Hartford as a distribution point for drug customers.  Darling, who is Ferry’s brother-in-law, purchased distribution quantities of fentanyl/heroin from Ferry and, at times, delivered narcotics to another member of the organization.

On May 22, 2018, a member of Ferry’s organization was shot and seriously wounded in an apparent robbery of the Wethersfield Avenue trap house.  After the shooting, intercepted communications revealed that Ferry solicited Darling to locate and likely harm the shooter.  In order to prevent violence, investigators followed Ferry, sent uniformed police officers into targeted areas, and stopped Darling in his vehicle to identify him.

Darling has been detained since his arrest on June 19, 2018.  On September 9, 2019, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and distribution of, heroin and fentanyl.

Darling’s criminal history includes multiple convictions and he previously served a 78-month sentence in state custody.

Ferry has pleaded guilty and awaits sentencing.

This matter is being investigated by the FBI’s Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes Gang Task Force and the Hartford Police Department.  The Task Force includes members of the Hartford Police Department, East Hartford Police Department, Connecticut State Police and Connecticut Department of Correction.  The Hartford Police Department’s Vice and Narcotics Division and Shooting Task Force have provided valuable assistance to the investigation.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian P. Leaming.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Opioids
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Updated January 22, 2020