New Haven Man Sentenced to 12 Years in Federal Prison for Racketeering and Gun Offenses
John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that KAVON ROGERS, 30, of New Haven, was sentenced yesterday by Chief U.S. District Judge Janet C. Hall in New Haven to 144 months of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release, for racketeering and firearm offenses.
According to court documents and statements made in court, in January 2014, ATF and the New Haven Police Department began “Operation Red Side” through a series of controlled narcotics purchases and firearms seizures. The investigation revealed that members and associates of the Red Side Guerilla Brims (“RSGB”), a sect of the Bloods street gang based in New Haven, were engaged in narcotics trafficking and related acts of violence, including murder, attempted murder, assaults and armed robberies. In addition to distributing crack cocaine and other narcotics in and around New Haven, the investigation indicated that members and associates of the RSGB, under the direction of Jeffrey Benton and others, transported the drugs to Bangor, Maine, and sold them in Bangor and its surrounding communities. The RSGB also traded narcotics for firearms, brought the firearms back to New Haven and distributed them to gang members. ROGERS, as RSGB member, sold crack in and around New Haven and traveled between New Haven and Bangor several times.
On June 24, 2011, Donnell Allick was shot and killed as he stood in his New Haven home. The investigation revealed that, on that date, ROGERS drove Benton and his associates, Luis Padilla and Keith Young, as they searched for a rival gang leader that Benton intended to murder. Instead, Benton encountered Allick, with whom Benton was angry over a drug transaction. After Benton, Padilla and Young exited the car, Benton fired multiple shots through an open kitchen window, killing Allick. Benton, Padilla and Young then returned the car, where ROGERS had been waiting. ROGERS then drove to a location where Benton hid the gun.
ROGERS has been detained since his arrest on September 27, 2014, when, as part of an unrelated investigation, he was found in a possession of a stolen .380 caliber semiautomatic handgun.
On May 5, 2015, ROGERS pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon and, on November 19, 2015, he pleaded guilty to one count of engaging in a pattern of racketeering activity.
As a result of this investigation, 21 members and associates of the RSGB were convicted of federal charges in Connecticut and Maine. The investigation has resolved seven murder cases, four attempted murders and four armed robberies that occurred in 2011 and 2012.
Benton, Padilla and Young pleaded guilty to various offenses stemming from this investigation, and admitted to participating in the murder of Donnell Allick. Benton also admitted that he participated in three other gang-related murders and one attempted murder, Padilla admitted that he participated in two other gang-related murders and two attempted murders, and Young admitted that he participated in one other gang-related murder.
On October 4, 2017, Benton was sentenced to 480 months of imprisonment. Padilla and Young await sentencing.
U.S. Attorney Durham noted that federal prisoners are required to serve at least 85 percent of their sentenced term of imprisonment and are not eligible for parole.
This investigation has been conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the New Haven Police Department, the Connecticut Department of Correction, the Connecticut State Police, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency and the Hamden Police Department. The New Haven State’s Attorney’s Office also provided critical assistance in the investigation.
An instrumental component of the investigation has been the work of the Connecticut State Crime Laboratory in utilizing the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) to analyze ballistics evidence.
This matter is being prosecuted in the District of Connecticut by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Peter Markle and Jocelyn Kaoutzanis. A related case in the District of Maine is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joel Casey.