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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 22, 2021

New Haven Gang Member Sentenced to 27 Months in Federal Prison for Illegal Gun Possession

Leonard C Boyle, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that JAQUAN GRAY, 27, of New Haven, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Robert N. Chatigny to 27 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for illegally possessing a loaded firearm.  Pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the sentencing occurred via videoconference.

This prosecution is part of a coordinated federal, state and local law enforcement effort to address rising gun violence in New Haven.  Participating in this effort are the New Haven Police Department; the FBI’s New Haven Safe Streets/Gang Task Force; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Drug Enforcement Administration; the New Haven State’s Attorney’s Office, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

According to court documents and statements made in court, on July 31, 2020, law enforcement received information that several members of the “Exit 8” group were in possession of firearms near the entrance of the Essex Townhouses complex at 1134 Quinnipiac Avenue in New Haven.  Members of the New Haven Police and the FBI’s New Haven Safe Streets/Gang Task Force entered the housing complex at approximately 10 p.m. and identified several Exit 8 members, including Gray.  Gray ran from the scene as law enforcement arrived and ignored commands to stop.  He was quickly apprehended, and a search of a fanny pack he was wearing revealed a loaded Smith and Wesson Model 469, 9mm handgun.

The handgun seized from Gray was reported stolen in Hamden in 2018, and the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) determined that it was used in a shooting between rival gangs in New Haven on July 14, 2020, 17 days before it was recovered.

Gray’s criminal history includes state felony convictions for firearm and drug offenses.  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.

Gray has been detained since his federal arrest on September 1, 2020.  On April 30, 2021, he pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a felon.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patricia Stolfi Collins.

Acting U.S. Attorney Boyle noted that this prosecution is a part of the Justice’s Department’s Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) program and Project Longevity.  PSN, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts, 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.

Project Longevity is a comprehensive initiative to reduce gun violence in Connecticut’s major cities.  Through Project Longevity, community members and law enforcement directly engage with members of groups that are prone to commit violence and deliver a community message against violence, a law enforcement message about the consequences of further violence and an offer of help for those who want it.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses
Component(s): 
Updated July 23, 2021