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Connecticut Street Gang Connected to Drug Trade in Maine

Members of a street gang out of New Haven, Connecticut have been charged with everything from murder to drug trafficking. Part of that drug trade took place in Bangor, Maine.

Public Safety Spokesman Steve McCausland sent out a press release today that included information from officials in Connecticut. It states that federal murder, racketeering, firearms, narcotics, and money laundering charges have been levied against several members and associates of the Red Side Guerilla Brims. This violent New Haven street gang is a sect of the Bloods street gang, also based in Connecticut. In 2011 and early 2012, members and associates of the gang are alleged to have committed six murders and four attempted murders.

The investigation, known as ‘Operation Red Side,’ began in January of 2014, revealed that the suspects were engaged in narcotics trafficking and related acts of violence, including murder, attempted murder, assaults, and armed robberies. Officials say the murders all took place in Connecticut.

In addition to the crimes in Connecticut, officials learned that the RSGB, under the direction of one of its alleged leaders, Jeffrey Benton, transported crack cocaine and heroin to Bangor and sold them. Gang members also traded narcotics for firearms, took the weapons back to New Haven, and distributed them to their partners in crime.

The Connecticut indicted include:

  • Jeffrey Benton, a.k.a. ‘Tall Man’ and ‘Fresh,’ age 30 of New Haven, CT
  • Keith Young, a.k.a. ‘Capo’ ‘Bapo,’ and ‘Poncho,’ age 25 of Hamden, CT
  • Robert Short, a.k.a. ‘Santana,’ age 29 of New Haven, CT
  • Trevor Murphy, a.k.a. ‘Snookie,’ age 27 of West Haven, CT
  • Robert Harris, a.k.a. ‘Skully Mack,’ age 19 of New Haven, CT
  • Christopher Graham, a.k.a. ‘Ugg,’ age 28 of New Haven, CT

The Maine Connection:

  • On February 12, 2015 – a Maine grand jury indicted Jeffrey Benton and ten other individuals, including RSGB members and associates, with offense related to the distribution of crack cocaine, the illegal purchase of more then 20 firearms, and the transportation of firearms and drug proceeds to Connecticut. Benton is awaiting trial in Maine.
  • On July 30th , 2015 – Willie Garvin, a.k.a. ‘Tank’ and Black,’ age 22 of New Haven, pleaded guilty in Connecticut to possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon, among other charges. He also agreed to have his Maine case transferred to Connecticut and pleaded guilty to conspiracy distribute crack cocaine and conspiracy to violate federal firearms laws.
  • On September 2nd, 2015 – Christian Turner, a.k.a. ‘P,’ age 29 of New Haven, pleaded guilty in Maine to conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine and conspiracy to violate federal firearms laws.
  • On August 17th, 2015 – Torrence Benton, a.k.a. ‘T-Black’ and ‘Scotty,’ age 28 of New Haven pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine.

The ongoing investigation is being conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the New Haven Police, the Connecticut Department of Correction, the Connecticut State Police, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Hamden Police.

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