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Press Release

Two Men Involved in Hartford Gang-Related Narcotics Trafficking Are Sentenced

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 two men involved in gang-related narcotics trafficking in Hartford were sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Alker Meyer in New Haven federal court.

HORACE STARKS, JR., also known as “Head” and “Little Head,” 23, of East Hartford, was sentenced to 10 months of imprisonment, followed by four years of supervised release.  On April 30, 2015, STARKS pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base (“crack”).  STARKS had no prior criminal record, which made him eligible for a reduced sentence.

SHAQILLE BROWN, also known as “Shaq,” 23, of Hartford, was sentenced to five years of probation.  In addition, BROWN had been detained for approximately 16 months since his arrest in April 2014.  On December 23, 2014, BROWN pleaded guilty to one count of using a telephone to facilitate a narcotics trafficking offense.

According to court documents and statements made in court, this matter stems from a year-long joint law enforcement investigation headed by the FBI’s Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes Task Force into narcotics trafficking by members and associates of West Hell street gang, and gang-related violent activity.  The investigation, which included the use of court-authorized wiretaps, controlled purchases of narcotics and physical surveillance, identified Melkuan Scott, also known as “Young God,” “Mel,” “Young” and “YG,” 24, as the leader of the West Hell street gang who, along with his associates, including STARKS and BROWN, distributed crack cocaine in the Westland Street area of Hartford.

On April 3, 2014, STARKS participated with Scott and others in the sale of approximately 130 grams of crack for $2,600 to an individual cooperating with law enforcement.

Twenty-five individuals were charged as a result of the investigation, and 24 have been convicted.  One defendant was shot and killed while his case was pending.

Scott awaits sentencing.

This matter has been investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes Task Force, Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Marshals Service and Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division.  The FBI Task Force includes members of the Hartford Police Department, East Hartford Police Department, Connecticut State Police and Connecticut Department of Correction.  The Hartford Police Department’s Vice and Narcotics Squad, Major Crimes Unit and Shooting Task Force are providing valuable assistance to the investigation, and the Capitol Region Emergency Response Team (CREST) assisted with the arrest of certain defendants.  The Office of the Chief State’s Attorney is also assisting with this ongoing investigation.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys John H. Durham and Peter S. Jongbloed.

Updated August 25, 2015

Drug Trafficking