An FBI task force investigation into the distribution of cocaine and heroin in Connecticut and Massachusetts led to drug distribution charges for 25 suspected gang members who ran an elaborate drug trafficking ring.
An investigation was launched by the FBI’s New Haven Safe Streets/Gang Task Force earlier this year targeting drug traffickers and related acts of violence by members and former members of the “Island Brothers” street gang.
U.S. Attorney John Durham said the investigation determined that the drug trafficking ring established a base of operation in Fitchburg, Mass. The investigation subsequently identified a second drug trafficking network that involved the large-scale distribution of heroin.
The complete list of those busted as part of the FBI task force probe:
- Tommy Julius, a.k.a. “General” and “J,” 36, of New Haven;
- Carl Merritt, a.k.a. “C,” 39, of New Haven;
- Frank Carr, a.k.a. “FL,” 52, of Hamden;
- Brian K. Backman, a.k.a. “B,” “NYB” and “New York B,” 54, of New Haven;
- Anderson Atkinson, a.k.a. “Barry,” 58, of Hamden;
- Bryant Williams, 44, of New Haven;
- Jeffrey Brazier, 49, of Hamden;
- Eric Burruss, a.k.a. “E,” 40, of New Haven;
- Mervin Brandy, 52, of Hamden;
- Pershona Turner, a.k.a. “Nonnie,” 23, of Hartford;
- Sharmaine Crosley, a.k.a. “Shar,” 35, of New Haven;
- Jessenia Roman, a.k.a. “Red,” 32, of New Haven;
- Theodore Smith, a.k.a. “Ted,” 36, of New Haven;
- Wanda Carter, a.k.a. “WaWa,” 40, of Hamden;
- Gerard Senior, 20, of New Haven;
- Shavar Bellamy, a.k.a. “Lil B,” “LB” and “Little Black,” 33, of New Haven;
- Matthew Moore, a.k.a. “Matt,” 44, of Fitchburg, Mass.;
- Shaun Armstrong, 39, of Fitchburg, Mass.;
- Jamaine Jackson, a.k.a. “Jack,” 45, of Bridgeport;
- Makene Jacobs, a.k.a. “Mac” and “Bridgeport,” 43, of West Haven;
- Tyrese Stanley, a.k.a. “Scoot,” 29, of New Haven;
- Melvin Roberts, a.k.a. “Psycho” and “Mel,” 62, of New Haven;
- Dena Draughn, 55, of Hamden.
Eighteen of the suspects were arrested on Wednesday, July 10, five were already in custody and two are still being sought by investigators.
“As alleged, these drug trafficking networks have been responsible for the distribution of significant quantities of heroin, crack and cocaine in Connecticut and Massachusetts,” Durham said. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to work with our federal, state and local partners to stem the drug trade in our cities, and the violence associated with it, by prosecuting those involved in this criminal behavior.”
The 15-count indictment charges Julius, Merritt, Carr, Backman, Atkinson, Williams, Brazier, Burruss, Brandy, Turner, Crosley, Roman, Smith, Carter, Senior, Bellamy, Moore and Armstrong with one count of conspiracy to distribute, and to possess with intent to distribute, cocaine base, cocaine and heroin.
The indictment also charges Backman, Atkinson, Jackson, Jacobs, Stanley, Roberts and Draughn with one count of conspiracy to distribute, and to possess with intent to distribute, heroin.
If convicted, the suspects will face a minimum of five years and a maximum of between 20 and 40 years in prison.
Merritt is also facing weapons charges after he was caught with an illegal weapon and two loaded magazines when he was arrested on April 12. At the time of his arrest, he was in possession of $73,343 in cash and six cell phones.
On June 16, Atkinson and Draughn were arrested and investigators seized approximately 10,000 bags of heroin.
“Today’s takedown is yet another example of our great working relationship with the New Haven Police Department and all of our law enforcement partners across the state,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Brian Turner. “All of our efforts are aimed at improving the quality of life of all law abiding residents of Connecticut.”
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