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Press Release

Three New Haven Men Charged with Trafficking Pills Containing Meth and Fentanyl, Fentanyl Powder Mixed with Xylazine

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

Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Robert Fuller, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, today announced that a federal grand jury in New Haven has returned a seven-count indictment charging MARKEYSE KELLY, also known as “Curry” and “Keyse,” 45, of West Haven; JAQUAN PRICE, also known as “Sub,” 33, of New Haven; and ROBERT COVINGTON, 32, of New Haven, with offenses stemming from the distribution of counterfeit pills containing methamphetamine and fentanyl, and fentanyl powder laced with xylazine.

As alleged in court documents and statements made in court, in October 2023, FBI New Haven Safe Streets Gang Task Force began investigating a drug trafficking organization led by Kelly.  The investigation, which included controlled purchases of narcotics in February and March 2024, revealed that  Kelly, Price, and Covington, sold various controlled substances, including multi-colored pills pressed to look like ecstasy that actually contained methamphetamine, counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl, and powder fentanyl laced with xylazine.

Kelly, Price, and Covington were arrested on federal criminal complaints on May 14, 2024.  On that date, investigators executed multiple search warrants and seized numerous fentanyl and methamphetamine pills; additional quantities of fentanyl powder, meth powder, and cocaine; three handguns, two loaded gun magazines, and ammunition.

On May 21, 2024, the New Haven grand jury returned an indictment charging Kelly, Price, and Covington each with one count of conspiracy to distribute, and to possess with intent to distribute, methamphetamine and fentanyl.  If convicted of this charge, based on the type and quantity of narcotics attributed to each defendant, Kelly faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life, Prices faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years, and Covington faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years and a maximum term of imprisonment of 40 years.

The indictment also charges Kelly, Price, Covington each with one or more counts of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of methamphetamine and/or fentanyl; Kelly with unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition by a felon; and Price with unlawful possession of ammunition by a felon.

It is alleged that Price has a prior federal conviction for unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon.

Kelly and Price are detained, and Covington is released on a $100,000 bond.

U.S. Attorney Avery stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt.  Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This matter is being investigated by the FBI New Haven Safe Streets Gang Task Force, the New Haven Police Department, the West Haven Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  The Task Force includes personnel from the East Haven Police Department, Milford Police Department, Wallingford Police Department, Connecticut State Police, and Connecticut Department of Correction.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie T. Levick through the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (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

Updated May 23, 2024

Drug Trafficking
Prescription Drugs
Firearms Offenses