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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Connecticut

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 4, 2022

Waterbury Man Sentenced to 5 Years in Federal Prison for Gun and Drug Offenses

Leonard C Boyle, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that on April 1, 2022, MALEKE SOCKWELL, 27, of Waterbury, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea in Hartford to 60 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for drug trafficking and firearm possession offenses.

According to court documents and statement made in court, on March 12, 2021, Waterbury Police observed Sockwell selling drugs from his vehicle in a supermarket parking lot in Waterbury.  After Sockwell drove to a location on Wolcott Street, parked on a sidewalk and exited his vehicle, officers approached.  Sockwell attempted to flee but was apprehended a short distance away.  A search of his vehicle revealed a loaded 9mm semi-automatic pistol, fentanyl and crack cocaine packaged for distribution, a digital scale, and $8,759 in cash.

Sockwell’s criminal history includes felony convictions for robbery and drug 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.

Sockwell has been detained since his arrest.  On December 6, 2021, he pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine base (“crack”) and fentanyl, one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon.

This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Waterbury Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney John T. Pierpont, Jr.

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.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking
Opioids
Firearms Offenses
Component(s): 
Updated April 4, 2022