A Shelton man was among 14 people arrested as part of a federal investigation into narcotics trafficking and firearms offenses at a Bridgeport public housing project. The suspects were indicted in December 2013.
Jermaine Buchanan, 18, of Shelton was charged with one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes, one count of possession of a stolen firearm, and one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute narcotics.
Buchanan, who also is known by the nickname of “Hot Main,” faces up to 40 years in jail on the charges.
Most of the other defendants are from Bridgeport but some also come from New Haven, Newington and Stratford.
Feds: Heroin, crack, firearms and lots of cash
During the course of the investigation, investigators seized about one kilogram of heroin, one-half kilogram of crack cocaine, approximately $100,000 in cash, three vehicles, jewelry, nine firearms, and more than 200 rounds of ammunition. One of the firearms was an assault-type rifle and four of the firearms were stolen.
The indictments were announced by the U.S. Attorney for Connecticut’s Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bridgeport Police Department.
According to statements made in court, since January 2012, the FBI’s Bridgeport Safe Streets Task Force, Bridgeport Police Department and Connecticut State Police Statewide Narcotics Task Force has been conducting an investigation into narcotics trafficking and violent criminal activity in and around the Trumbull Gardens housing complex in northern Bridgeport, not far from the Trumbull border.
Who has been charged
Charged in the indictment are:
— Ronell Hanks, a.k.a. “Biz” and “Ace,” 24, of Bridgeport
— Omar Bahamonde, a.k.a. “Dirk,” 29, of Bridgeport
— Jonathan Bohannon, 25, of Bridgeport
— Jermaine Buchanan, a.k.a. “Hot Main,” 18, of Shelton
— Moyan Forbes, 22, of Bridgeport
— Rashad Heard, a.k.a. “Shotty,” 23, of Bridgeport,
— Sybil Hopkins, 55, of Stratford
— Steven Hutchinson, a.k.a. “L,” 24, of Bridgeport
— Tavar Johnson, 30, of Bridgeport
— Yazmine Morales, 36, of Newington
— Carlos Soto, a.k.a. “Machon,” 49, of Newington
— Eboney Wood, a.k.a. “Sis,” 33, of New Haven
— D’metrius Woodward, a.k.a. “Flea,” 29, of Bridgeport
— Tysheem Wright, 25, of Bridgeport
The various charges
The indictment charges each defendant with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute narcotics. If convicted of this charge, based on the type and quantity of narcotics charged, Bahamonde, Bohannon, Forbes, Hanks, Heard, Hopkins, Morales, Soto, Wood, Woodward and Wright face a minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life.
Buchanan, Hutchinson and Johnson face a minimum term of imprisonment of five years and a maximum term of imprisonment of 40 years.
Certain defendants also are charged with possessing with intent to distribute, and distribution of, heroin and/or cocaine base (“crack cocaine”).
The indictment also charges Hanks and Bohannon with one count of possession of a firearm and ammunition by a previously convicted felon, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years; Buchanan and Bohannon with one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes, which carries a mandatory five-year sentence; Buchanan and Hanks with one count of possession of a stolen firearm, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years; and Wood with transfer of a firearm to a convicted felon (Hanks), which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years.
Overseeing the investigation and prosecution
The announcement of the indictments was made by Deirdre M. Daly, U.S. attorney for Connecticut; Patricia M. Ferrick, special agent in charge of the New Haven Division of the FBI; Bridgeport Police Chief Joseph L. Gaudett Jr.
The majority of the defendants were arrested on criminal complaints in early December, and a federal grand jury in Bridgeport returned an 18-count indictment on Dec. 18.
Daly stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case has been assigned to Chief U.S. District Judge Janet C. Hall in New Haven federal court.
This matter is being investigated by the FBI’s Bridgeport Safe Streets Task Force, in coordination with the Bridgeport Police Department, Norwalk Police Department, Trumbull Police Department and Connecticut State Police Statewide Narcotics Task Force.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the State’s Attorney for the Judicial District of Fairfield are assisting this investigation and prosecution. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tracy Lee Dayton and Rahul Kale.