David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that a federal jury in New Haven has found two Bridgeport men guilty of charges stemming from their participation in gang-related narcotics trafficking. The trial before United States District Judge Janet Bond Arterton began on August 20, and the jury returned the verdicts yesterday after deliberating for approximately three hours.
Joseph Reyes, also known as “Fat Joe,” “Deep” and “RJ,” 28; and Richard Daniels, also known as “Po” and “Wap,” 30, were each found guilty of one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin and 280 grams or more of cocaine base (“crack cocaine”) and one count of conspiracy to maintain a drug-involved premises. Reyes also was found guilty of one count of possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon.
This matter stems from Operation Slim Fast, a joint law enforcement investigation that focused on two drug trafficking organizations, one that operated out of Bridgeport and one that operated out of Bridgeport, Puerto Rico, and Springfield, Massachusetts. In 2010, members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Bridgeport Safe Streets Task Force initiated an investigation of narcotics trafficking activity in and around the Marina Village Housing Complex in Bridgeport that focused primarily on the Marina Village Bloods, a violent narcotics trafficking organization. Members of the Marina Village Bloods have been responsible for, or connected to, multiple shootings in Bridgeport.
The evidence at trial established that Reyes, Daniels and others, who were members of the Sex, Money, Murder set of the Marina Village Bloods, sold large quantities of narcotics from an abandoned residence at 105/107 Johnson Street, which is located across from the street from the Marina Village Housing Complex. On multiple occasions, Reyes and Daniels were intercepted over court-authorized wiretaps discussing their narcotics trafficking activities. The wiretapped conversations further revealed that members of the Marina Village Bloods alternately referred to the Johnson Street residence as the “kitchen,” “trap,” or “white house.”
The evidence at trial also established that Reyes, who has multiple previous felony convictions, possessed firearms, including a Taurus .40 caliber handgun that was purchased for him by a co-defendant who had no prior felony convictions.
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.
Judge Arterton has scheduled sentencing for November 26, 2012, at which time Reyes and Daniels face a minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life for conspiring to distribute narcotics and a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years for conspiring to maintain a drug-involved premises. Reyes also faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Reyes and Daniels have been detained since their arrests on January 5, 2011.
As a result of this investigation, 19 individuals have been charged in federal court with various narcotics and firearms related offenses, and law enforcement officers seized approximately four kilograms of cocaine, one kilogram of crack cocaine, a quantity of heroin, an SKS assault rifle, five handguns, and more than $150,000 in cash.
This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Bridgeport Safe Streets Task Force—which is composed of personnel from the FBI and the Bridgeport, Norwalk, and Trumbull Police Departments—with assistance from the United States Marshals Service; Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation; Drug Enforcement Administration; Connecticut State Police; and Hartford, Stratford, and Stamford Police Departments.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Tracy Dayton, Jonathan Freimann, and Doug Morabito.