Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that KISHON SHIELDS, also known as “L.A.” and “Key,” 25, of New Haven, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Sarala V. Nagala in Hartford to 18 months of imprisonment, followed by four years of supervised release, for his role in New Haven drug trafficking ring.
According to court documents and statements made in court, in the fall of 2021, the New Haven Safe Streets/Gang Task Force and New Haven Police Department began investigating a drug trafficking ring that was distributing fentanyl, heroin crack and cocaine in and around the West Hills neighborhood, including the McConaughy Terrace housing complex located on South Genesee Street in New Haven. The investigation, which included court-authorized wiretaps, fixed video surveillance and controlled purchases of narcotics, revealed that a member of the conspiracy was receiving heroin and fentanyl from an out-of-state supplier, and kilogram quantities of cocaine through the U.S. Mail from a source in Puerto Rico. Shields and his coconspirators packaged fentanyl and crack at the McConaughy Terrace housing complex, and referred customers to one another in order to distribute the drugs from that location.
During the investigation, law enforcement seized approximately 19 kilograms of cocaine, more than 7,000 bags of fentanyl, five firearms, and more than $780,000 in cash.
On February 15, 2022, a grand jury in New Haven returned an indictment charging Shield and seven co-defendants. On November 28, 2022, Shields pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute fentanyl, heroin, cocaine base (“crack”) and cocaine.
This investigation is being conducted by the FBI’s New Haven Safe Streets/Gang Task Force with the assistance of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. The Task Force includes participants from the New Haven Police Department, Milford Police Department, East Haven Police Department, West Haven Police Department, Connecticut State Police and the Connecticut Department of Correction.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anthony E. Kaplan and Kenneth L. Gresham 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.