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Press Release

New London Man Sentenced to 70 Months in Prison for Trafficking Cocaine, Violating Supervised Release

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Connecticut

Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that FORREST HEMPSTEAD, 32, of New London, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Victor A. Bolden in Bridgeport to 70 months of imprisonment, followed by four years of supervised release, for trafficking cocaine and violating the conditions of his supervised release from a prior federal conviction.

This matter stems from a long-term investigation headed by the Connecticut State Police Statewide Narcotics Task Force East and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration into the large-scale distribution of narcotics in southeastern Connecticut. The investigation revealed that John “Soy” King, Sydney “Fatz” Jackson and others regularly acquired kilogram quantities of cocaine and heroin from sources in New York and transported the drugs to southeastern Connecticut. Much of the cocaine was converted to crack cocaine and the drugs were distributed through a network of dealers in Groton, Norwich, New London, Stonington, Westerly, R.I. and the surrounding area.

King used an apartment on East Main Street in Norwich to store, process and package narcotics for street sale. On April 28, 2015, law enforcement officers made entry into the apartment and seized approximately 150 grams of crack cocaine and approximately 80 grams of heroin. On April 30, 2015, officers searched a vehicle that was registered to King and was parked outside of the stash house and seized a kilogram of cocaine. The investigation revealed that the cocaine had been transported from New York to Connecticut on HEMPSTEAD’s behalf and HEMPSTEAD was its intended recipient.

On November 24, 2015, a federal grand jury in Hartford returned a 35-count superseding indictment charging HEMPSTEAD, King, Jackson and 10 other defendants with various narcotics trafficking and firearm offenses. In addition, approximately 20 individuals were prosecuted on related state charges.

HEMPSTEAD was arrested on December 9, 2015, and is detained. On February 21, 2017, he pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine.

HEMPSTEAD’s criminal history includes state drug and weapons convictions, and a 2011 federal conviction for distributing crack cocaine. HEMPSTEAD was released from federal prison in March 2014 and was serving a four-year term of supervised release while engaged in the criminal conduct in this case.

King and Jackson previously pleaded guilty and were each sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment.

This matter has been investigated by the Connecticut State Police Statewide Narcotics Task Force East, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Marshals Service, Connecticut Department of Correction and Groton City, Groton Town, New London, Norwich and Waterford Police Departments.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Dave Vatti and Joseph Vizcarrondo, with the assistance of Senior Assistant State’s Attorneys Paul Narducci and David Smith of the State’s Attorney’s Office for the Judicial District of New London.

Updated August 24, 2017

Drug Trafficking