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Press Release

Indictment Charges Hartford Man on Supervised Release with Firearm and Drug Offenses

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

Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England, and Hartford Police Chief Jason Thody today announced that a federal grand jury in New Haven has returned an indictment charging STANDFORD SMITH, also known as “Pops,” 34, of Hartford, with narcotics distribution and firearm possession offenses.

As alleged in court documents and statements made in court, in March 2021, Smith was sentenced in Hartford federal court to 55 months of imprisonment and four years of supervised release for his role in a gun trafficking ring and for distributing crack cocaine.  He was released from prison in February 2022.  On June 2, 2023, Smith was arrested by Hartford Police after he was found in possession of distribution quantities of cocaine and fentanyl, and a loaded Ruger LCP Max .380 caliber firearm.

It is a violation of federal law for a person previously convicted of a felony offense to possess a firearm or ammunition that has moved in interstate or foreign commerce.

The indictment, which was returned on January 23, 2024, charges Smith with one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and fentanyl, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years, and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 15 years.

Smith has been detained since his arrest.  He appeared yesterday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert A. Richardson in Hartford and pleaded not guilty to the charges.

U.S. Attorney Avery stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt.  A charge is only an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This investigation is being conducted by the Hartford Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patricia Stolfi Collins, through Project Safe Neighborhoods (“PSN”), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

Updated February 8, 2024

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses