Saturday, July 14, 2012

Hartford Woman Sentenced to 30 Months in Federal Prison for Role in Drug Trafficking Ring

The United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut announced that Breann Wynter, also known as “Bree,” 21, of Hartford, was sentenced today by Senior United States District Judge Ellen Bree Burns in New Haven to 30 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for her role in a Hartford-area narcotics distribution ring.

This matter stems from Operation Northern Strike, a 15-month joint law enforcement investigation targeting members and associates of geographically-based street gangs engaging in criminal activity in Hartford’s Upper Albany and Northeast neighborhoods. The investigation included the use of court-authorized wiretaps on multiple telephones, controlled purchases of narcotics, and physical surveillance. As a result of the investigation, 35 individuals were charged with various federal drug and firearms violations.

According to court documents and statements made in court, one of the initial targets of the investigation was Joseph Smith, also known as “Nitty.” The investigation revealed that Smith employed Wynter to store narcotics and cash at Wynter’s Baltimore Street residence. Wynter also sometimes accompanied Smith when Smith obtained narcotics from his suppliers and when he delivered narcotics to his customers.

Smith and Wynter were arrested on May 4, 2010. On that date, a search of Wynter’s residence revealed approximately 14 ounces of crack cocaine, marijuana packaged for distribution, $8,100 in cash, and a Smith & Wesson .357 revolver.

On January 31, 2012, Wynter pleaded guilty to one count of maintaining a drug involved premises.

On June 29, 2011, Smith pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 280 grams or more of cocaine base. He awaits sentencing.

This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes Gang Task Force—which includes representatives of the FBI, Connecticut State Police, and Hartford Police Department—and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Brian P. Leaming and Geoffrey M. Stone.

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