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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 15, 2022

Naugatuck Man Sentenced to 25 Years in Federal Prison for Trafficking Heroin and Crack

Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that ANTONIO SMALL, also known as “Tone” and “Bert,” 30, formerly of Naugatuck, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Alvin W. Thompson in Hartford to 300 months of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release, for trafficking heroin and crack cocaine in Bridgeport.

According to court documents and statements made in court, in the summer of 2017, members of the FBI’s Bridgeport Safe Streets Task Force and Bridgeport Police Department began investigating individuals who were distributing narcotics in and around Bridgeport.  The investigation included the use of court-authorized wiretaps, controlled purchases of narcotics, physical and video surveillance, and the execution of multiple search and seizure warrants.  The investigation revealed that Antonio Small, Louie McDowell, Christian Rodriguez, Evan Sheffield, Anthony Small and others were distributing large quantities of heroin, fentanyl and crack cocaine in the Bridgeport area.

Small was the leader of an organization that was based on the west side of Bridgeport.  Small and his associates used a residence on Poplar Street in Bridgeport to store, process and package narcotics, and his group was involved in violence.  Intercepted calls revealed that Small kept a firearm at the residence, and that he possessed it while looking to retaliate against someone he believed had wronged him.  On October 31, 2018, a close associate of Small was shot and killed in the vicinity of the Poplar Street residence.  A female who was close by was also killed during the incident.

In addition, one of Small’s co-conspirators, while in possession of drugs that he intended to distribute, engaged police in a car chase and struck and killed another motorist and maimed two pedestrians.

Small’s criminal history includes convictions for drug, firearm, evidence tampering, and other offenses, and he was on state probation while engaged in the conduct that resulted in his federal prosecution.

Small has been detained since his arrest on November 6, 2018.  On January 24, 2020, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute, and to possess with the intent to distribute, more than one kilogram of heroin and a quantity of cocaine base (“crack”).

McDowell, Rodriguez, Sheffield and Anthony Small also pleaded guilty.  McDowell, Rodriguez and Sheffield have been sentenced, and Anthony Small awaits sentencing.

This matter has been investigated by the FBI’s Bridgeport Safe Streets Task Force and the Bridgeport Police Department, as well as the DEA, Connecticut State Police, and the Stratford, Norwalk, Seymour and Trumbull Police Departments.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Karen L. Peck and Patrick J. Doherty through the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Program.  OCDETF identifies, disrupts and dismantles drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs and transnational criminal organizations through a prosecutor-led and intelligence-driven approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.  Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Opioids
Drug Trafficking
Updated July 15, 2022