West Haven Man Sentenced to 140 Months for Drug Trafficking, Attempt to Destroy Body of Murder Victim
John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that MAURICE WEARING, 29, of West Haven, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant in Hartford to 140 months of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release, for drug trafficking and his role in an attempt to destroy the body of a victim of a related murder with a homemade pipe bomb on July 4, 2015.
According to court documents and statements made in court, at approximately 11:00 a.m. on July 4, 2015, an explosion took place on Wintergreen Avenue in Hamden. Responding law enforcement located a deceased white male, who had been wrapped in plastic garbage bag material and bound by rope material, in a wooded area close to where the explosion had occurred. An explosive-type device and debris were also located in close proximity to the body. The victim, who had also sustained three apparent gunshot wounds, was subsequently identified as Edward Brooks, 39, of West Haven.
After West Haven Police informed investigators that Brooks had been residing with Christopher Miller at 59 Front Avenue in West Haven, and that Miller and other residents of 59 Front Avenue were subjects of an ongoing narcotics investigation, investigators executed a state narcotics search and seizure warrant at 59 Front Avenue and seized numerous items, including pipe bomb making materials that were consistent with the materials found at the Wintergreen Avenue explosion scene, approximately 16 grams of cocaine base (“crack cocaine), approximately 10.6 grams of methamphetamine and narcotics packaging material. Investigators also seized a surveillance DVR, which captured video surveillance from eight cameras placed around the residence.
The investigation revealed that, in the early morning hours of July 4, 2015, Miller shot Brooks three times with a firearm that was equipped with a silencer, at their residence. Miller and Wearing then wrapped Brooks’ body in plastic, drove the body to the wooded area in Hamden, placed a homemade pipe bomb underneath Brooks’ body, and detonated the pipe bomb in an attempt to destroy evidence.
The investigation further revealed that in the year prior to Brooks’ murder, Miller, Wearing and others distributed at least 1.6 kilograms of crack cocaine, as well as other narcotics.
On August 18, 2017, Wearing pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute cocaine base (“crack”), and one count of possession of an explosive by a convicted felon.
On April 5, 2017, Miller pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a firearm and explosive device in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. On August 22, 2018, he was sentenced to 360 months of imprisonment.
Miller and Wearing also were charged with related state offenses.
This investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Connecticut State Police and West Haven Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Vanessa Richards in coordination with the State’s Attorney’s Office for the Judicial District of Ansonia-Milford.