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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, November 24, 2014

New Haven Man Sentenced To 9 Years In Federal Prison For Trafficking Narcotics


Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that JEFFREY BENTON, also known as “Fresh,” 29, of New Haven, was sentenced on Friday, November 21, by Senior U.S. District Judge Ellen Bree Burns in New Haven to 108 months of imprisonment, followed by four years of supervised release, for trafficking narcotics.

According to court documents and statements made in court, this matter stems from “Operation Bloodline,” a joint law enforcement investigation targeting narcotics trafficking and gang violence in the Dwight-Kensington and Fair Haven sections of New Haven.  Led by the DEA New Haven Task Force and the New Haven and Hamden Police Departments, the year-long investigation included the use of court-authorized wiretaps on numerous telephones, extensive physical surveillance, controlled purchases of narcotics, execution of search warrants, and seizures of narcotics and firearms.  More than 100 individuals were charged as a result of the investigation.

The investigation revealed that Kevin Wilson, also known as “Nature,” operated a large-scale drug trafficking operation in the greater New Haven area.  Intercepted communications revealed that BENTON obtained heroin from Wilson and distributed the drug in the Dwight/Chapel area.

BENTON was arrested on May 17, 2012, at a location on Orchard Street in New Haven.  Officers searched the location and recovered approximately 100 grams of cocaine, one gram of crack cocaine, a digital scale, drug packaging materials and $5,536, including three counterfeit $100 bills.  The search also revealed four firearms.  Three of the firearms were loaded, one with an extended magazine, and one that was equipped with a laser sight.

BENTON has been detained since his arrest.  On August 30, 2013, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, 100 grams or more of heroin.

BENTON’s criminal history includes four prior felony convictions, three for drug offenses and one for a firearm offense.

Wilson has pleaded guilty and awaits sentencing.

This matter has been investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Haven Task Force, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the New Haven, Hamden, West Haven, North Haven, Branford, Ansonia and Meriden Police Departments.  The United States Marshals Service, the Connecticut State Police, the Connecticut Department of Correction, Parole and Community Services and the Milford, Hartford, New Britain, North Branford and Stratford Police Departments have provided valuable assistance to the investigation.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys S. Dave Vatti and Marc Silverman.

PUBLIC AFFAIRS CONTACT:

U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE
Tom Carson
(203) 821-3722
thomas.carson@usdoj.gov

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Updated March 18, 2015