Stratford Man Charged with Trafficking Meth and Heroin, Illegally Possessing Firearms
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Connecticut
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that MARK LEIGH-JAMES, also known as “Rich,” 23, of Stratford, has been indicted on narcotics trafficking and firearm possession offenses.
This matter stems from an investigation headed by the DEA’s Bridgeport High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force and Fairfield Police Department. As alleged in court documents, in July and August 2015, Fairfield Police made four controlled purchases of a total of approximately 58 grams of methamphetamine from LEIGH-JAMES. In August and September 2015, Fairfield Police and the DEA Task Force made two additional controlled purchases of a total of approximately 187 grams of methamphetamine from LEIGH-JAMES.
October 5, 2015, LEIGH-JAMES was arrested on federal criminal complaint. At the time of his arrest, LEIGH-JAMES was carrying a backpack that contained approximately 7.5 grams of heroin. A subsequent search of LEIGH-JAMES’ vehicle revealed a second backpack containing approximately 120 grams of methamphetamine, a loaded .380 semi-automatic handgun and a loaded .44 magnum revolver.
On October 14, 2015, a federal grand jury in Bridgeport returned a nine-count indictment charging LEIGH-JAMES with two counts of possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, and one count of possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. These charges carry a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life.
The indictment also charges LEIGH-JAMES with four of possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, methamphetamine, one count of possession with intent to distribute heroin, and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. If convicted of the firearm offense, LEIGH-JAMES faces a mandatory consecutive term of imprisonment of five years.
LEIGH-JAMES has been detained since his arrest.
This matter is being investigated by the DEA’s Bridgeport High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force and the Fairfield Police Department. The Task Force includes personnel from the DEA, Connecticut State Police, Norwalk Police Department, Stamford Police Department, Stratford Police Department and Milford Police Department. The case is being prosecuted Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy C. Brown.
U.S. Attorney Daly stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Updated November 6, 2015