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Press Release

Two Men Sentenced for Involvement in New Haven-Based Drug Ring

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

John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that two men involved in a New Haven-based drug trafficking organization were sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Robert N. Chatigny.  JAMAINE JACKSON, also known as “Jack,” 46, of Bridgeport, was sentenced to 77 months of imprisonment, and THEODORE SMITH, also known as “Ted,” 38, of New Haven was sentenced to 42 months of imprisonment.  Judge Chatigny also ordered each defendant to serve three years of supervised release when he is released from prison.

Pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the sentencings occurred via videoconference.

This matter stems from an investigation headed by the FBI’s New Haven Safe Streets/Gang Task Force and New Haven Police Department that targeted drug trafficking and related acts of violence by members, former members and associates of the “Island Brothers” street gang in New Haven.  The investigation, which included court-authorized wiretaps and controlled purchases of narcotics, also revealed that the drug trafficking organization had established a base of operation in Fitchburg, Massachusetts.  The investigation subsequently identified a second drug trafficking network that involved the large-scale distribution of heroin.

During the investigation, Brian Backman of New Haven and Anderson Atkinson of Hamden were identified as suppliers of heroin to members of the drug trafficking organization.  Jackson conspired with Backman, Anderson and others to acquire heroin and sell it to his own customers.

Smith, who resided in Fitchburg for a time, distributed crack cocaine and heroin.  He also wire-transferred proceeds of his drug sales to his Connecticut associates.

Twenty-seven individuals were charged as a result of this investigation.

On November 22, 2019, Jackson pleaded guilty one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin, and Smith pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute cocaine base (“crack”) and heroin.

Jackson’s criminal history includes 13 convictions for drug offenses, and convictions for assault, strangulation and burglary.  Smith also has a lengthy criminal history, which includes multiple convictions for narcotics and assault offenses.

Backman and Atkinson previously pleaded guilty.  On March 11, 2020, Backman was sentenced to 121 months of imprisonment.   Atkinson awaits sentencing.

This matter is being investigated by the FBI’s New Haven Safe Streets/Gang Task Force, New Haven Police Department, Milford Police Department, Hamden Police Department, East Haven Police Department, Connecticut State Police, Connecticut Department of Correction and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anthony E. Kaplan, Peter D. Markle and Elena L. Coronado.

Updated August 3, 2020

Drug Trafficking