Waterbury Man Charged with Federal Firearm and Drug Offenses
Leonard C Boyle, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that a federal grand jury in Hartford has returned a three-count indictment charging DARTRE BOOKER, 27, of Waterbury, with firearm possession and heroin distribution offenses.
The indictment was returned on March 3, 2022. Booker appeared today via videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge S. Dave Vatti and entered a plea of not guilty to the charges. Booker has been detained since his arrest on related state charges on February 16, 2022.
The indictment alleges that, on February 16, 2022, Booker possessed two loaded Glock 9mm pistols and heroin that he intended to distribute.
It is further alleged that Booker’s criminal history includes two state convictions for felony firearm offenses. It is a violation of federal law for a person previously convicted of a felony offense to possess a firearm or ammunition that has moved in interstate or foreign commerce.
The indictment charges Booker with possession with intent to distribute heroin, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years; unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years; and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, which carries a mandatory consecutive term of imprisonment of at least five years.
U.S. Attorney Boyle 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.
This matter is being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), Federal Bureau of Investigation and Waterbury Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Natasha M. Freismuth.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.