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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Connecticut
Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Waterbury Gang Member Admits Role in 2018 Drive-By Shooting That Killed Innocent Bystander, Paralyzed Second

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — D’Andre Burrus, also known as “Dopeman,” 30, of Waterbury, pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court to a racketeering offense stemming from his participation in the 960 gang, a violent Waterbury street gang.

Today’s announcement was made by Vanessa Roberts Avery, U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut; Maureen T. Platt, State’s Attorney for the Waterbury Judicial District; Robert Fuller, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); James Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Boston Field Division; and Waterbury Police Chief Fernando C. Spagnolo.

According to court documents and statements made in court, in an effort to address drug trafficking and related violence in Waterbury, the FBI, ATF and Waterbury Police have been investigating multiple Waterbury-based groups, including the 960 gang. On Sept. 14, 2021, a federal grand jury in Hartford returned a 36-count indictment charging Burrus and 15 other alleged 960 gang members with racketeering, narcotics trafficking, firearm possession, murder, attempted murder and assault and obstruction of justice offenses.

In pleading guilty to one count of racketeering conspiracy, Burrus admitted that he trafficked heroin, fentanyl and cocaine in furtherance of the 960 enterprise. He also admitted that he conspired to murder members of a rival gang on Oct. 11, 2018, which resulted in the death of an innocent bystander, 30-year-old Fransua Guzman, and the paralysis of a second victim. Burrus was in one of two cars 960 members used when the victims were shot.

Burrus is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Kari A. Dooley on June 7, at which time he faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.

Burrus has been detained since his arrest on Feb. 19, 2019.

This investigation is being conducted by the FBI’s Northern Connecticut Gang Task Force, ATF and Waterbury Police Department, with the assistance of the Watertown Police Department, New Milford Police Department and Connecticut Department of Correction.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Geoffrey M. Stone, John T. Pierpont, Jr. and Natasha M. Freismuth and Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney Don E. Therkildesen, Jr. and Deputy Assistant State’s Attorney Alexandra Arroyo of the Waterbury State’s Attorney’s Office, who have been cross-designated as Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys in this matter.

This prosecution is a part of the Justice’s Department’s Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) 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 works 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.

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


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