Manchester Resident Pleads Guilty to Illegal Gun Possession and Heroin Distribution Offenses
John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that RUFUS HOWELL, 40, last residing in Manchester, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport to gun possession and heroin distribution offenses.
According to court documents and statements made in court, on June 21, 2017, HOWELL was arrested after a search of the car he was operating in Hartford’s North End contained a loaded Hi-Point 9mm pistol, approximately 14 grams of combined heroin and fentanyl, approximately 40 grams of cocaine, and a quantity of marijuana.
HOWELL’s criminal history includes multiple state felony convictions, and a federal felony narcotics conviction in 2005. 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.
HOWELL pleaded guilty to one count possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years, and one count of possession of heroin with intent to distribute, an offenses that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years. Judge Underhill scheduled sentencing for November 16, 2018.
HOWELL has been detained since his arrest.
This matter has been investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes 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 case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian P. Leaming.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make neighborhoods safer for everyone.