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Press Release

Hartford Man Sentenced To More Than Six Years In Federal Prison For Distributing Crack

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

The United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut today announced that JOVAN SMITH, also known as “Hood,” 35, of Hartford, was sentenced yesterday by Senior United States District Judge Ellen Bree Burns in New Haven to 78 months of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release, for distributing crack cocaine.

This matter stems from “Operation Northern Strike,” a 15-month joint law enforcement investigation targeting members and associates of geographically-based street gangs engaging in criminal activity in Hartford’s Upper Albany and Northeast neighborhoods.  The investigation included the use of court-authorized wiretaps on multiple telephones, controlled purchases of narcotics and physical surveillance.  As a result of the investigation, 35 individuals were charged with various federal drug and firearms violations.

According to court documents and statements made in court, one of the initial targets of the investigation was Joseph Smith, also known as “Nitty.”  Intercepted calls revealed that Joseph Smith regularly sold JOVAN SMITH eighth-ounce quantities (“8-balls”) of crack cocaine.  JOVAN SMITH then sold the crack in smaller quantities in the area of Center and Chestnut Streets in Hartford.

On June 7, 2012, JOVAN SMITH pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 28 or more grams of cocaine base (“crack cocaine”).

JOVAN SMITH’s criminal history includes multiple narcotics convictions, multiple assault convictions, and convictions for violation of a protective order and threatening.

On June 29, 2011, Joseph Smith pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 280 grams or more of cocaine base.  On September 27, 2012, he was sentenced to 146 months of imprisonment.

This matter has been investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes Gang Task Force – which includes representatives of the FBI, Connecticut State Police and Hartford Police Department – and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Brian P. Leaming and Geoffrey M. Stone.


Tom Carson
(203) 821-3722

Updated March 18, 2015