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Two Bridgeport Gang Members Plead Guilty

Human RightsTwo Bridgeport Gang Members Plead Guilty

MICHAEL LOCKHART, also known as “Mikey RTN,” 24, and JAHAZ LANGSTON, also known as “Haz,” 23, pleaded guilty yesterday in Bridgeport federal court to charges related to their involvement in a violent Bridgeport street gang.

Today’s announcement was made by Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut; Joseph T. Corradino, State’s Attorney for the Fairfield Judicial District; Bridgeport Police Chief Roderick Porter; Robert Fuller, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; James Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge, ATF Boston Field Division; Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England, and Acting U.S. Marshal Lawrence Bobnick.

According to court documents and statements made in court, the FBI, ATF, DEA, U.S. Marshals Service, Connecticut State Police, and Bridgeport Police have been investigating multiple Bridgeport-based gangs whose members are involved in narcotics trafficking, murder and other acts of violence. Lockhart and Langston were members of the Original North End (“O.N.E.”), a gang based in the Trumbull Gardens area of Bridgeport that committed acts of violence against rival gangs, including the East End gang, the East Side gang, and the PT Barnum gang. O.N.E. members also robbed drug dealers, customers and others, sold narcotics, and stole cars from inside and outside Connecticut, often using the cars to commit crimes. They frequently used social media to promote and coordinate their criminal activities.

Lockhart was arrested on June 29, 2021, after a search of his residence revealed large bags of marijuana, numerous items used to process and package narcotics for street sale, five handguns, two empty boxes for other handguns, extended magazines, ammunition, body armor, and other gun accessories. Laboratory analysis of the seized items revealed that presence of Lockhart’s DNA on one of the handguns and a magazine. He has been detained since his arrest.

Lockhart pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years, and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years.

Langston, who has been detained since his arrest on July 20, 2021, pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering conspiracy, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.

This investigation is being conducted by the FBI’s Safe Streets and Violent Crimes Task Forces, ATF, DEA, U.S. Marshals Service, Bridgeport Police Department, Connecticut State Police and the Bridgeport State’s Attorney’s Office, with the assistance of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Connecticut Forensic Science Laboratory and the Naugatuck Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Karen L. Peck, Tara E. Levens, Patrick J. Doherty, Rahul Kale, and Jocelyn C. Kaoutzanis.

This prosecution is a part of the Justice’s Department’s Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), Project Longevity and Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) programs.

PSN is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

Project Longevity is a comprehensive initiative to reduce gun violence in Connecticut’s major cities. Through Project Longevity, community members and law enforcement directly engage with members of groups that are prone to commit violence and deliver a community message against violence, a law enforcement message about the consequences of further violence and an offer of help for those who want it. If a group member elects to engage in gun violence, the focused attention of federal, state, and local law enforcement will be directed at that entire group.

OCDETF identifies, disrupts and dismantles drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs and transnational criminal organizations through a prosecutor-led and intelligence-driven approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.

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Story from www.atf.gov

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are independent views solely of the author(s) expressed in their private capacity.

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