DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Connecticut

For Immediate Release

Thursday, May 22, 2014
Deirdre M. Daly
, United States Attorney
Contact: Tom Carson

Virginia Man Sentenced to 43 Months in Federal Prison for Trafficking Firerms to Connecticut

Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that JAWAWN RICARDO HALE, 31, of Roanoke, Va., was sentenced today by Chief U.S. District Judge Janet C. Hall in New Haven to 43 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for his participation in a conspiracy to traffic firearms from Virginia to Connecticut, and possessing firearms as a convicted felon.

According to court documents and statements made in court, this matter stems from an investigation conducted by the New Haven Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  Between June and August 2012, HALE sold a total of seven firearms and a quantity of ammunition to an individual in Connecticut.  HALE acquired the firearms from Charles Matthew Wilson and others in Virginia, and then transported the firearms to Connecticut.  Leshel Branch, of New Haven, assisted HALE in the transportation and distribution of the firearms.

On August 23, 2012, HALE, Wilson and Branch traveled to a location in New Haven where HALE sold two firearms to an individual in exchange for $2,400.  Shortly after the transaction, the car carrying the three defendants was stopped by law enforcement.  $2000 was recovered from the interior of the car and $400 was seized from Wilson’s person.

HALE has been detained since his arrest on August 23, 2012.  On November 9, 2012, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to engage in the business of dealing in firearms without a license and one count of possession of firearms by a convicted felon.

In 1999, HALE was sentenced in Virginia state court to 40 years of incarceration for second degree murder, and a consecutive three years for use of a firearm in the commission of a murder.  The sentencing judge suspended 29 years of the sentence and imposed a 15-year term of probation.  HALE was released from prison in November 2011.  After his release from federal custody, HALE faces violation of probation proceedings in Virginia, which could result in a sentence of up to 29 years of state incarceration.

Wilson and Branch also pleaded guilty.  On April 17, 2013, Wilson was sentenced to 60 months of imprisonment, and on November 25, 2013, Branch was sentenced to five years of probation.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony E. Kaplan.


Boston Field Division