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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Connecticut
Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney
www.justice.gov/usao-ct
For Immediate Release
Thursday, March 7, 2024

Waterbury Gang Member Pleads Guilty to Racketeering Charge

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Laderrick Jones, also known as “Lexus,” 31, of Waterbury, pleaded guilty today in Bridgeport 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 FBI; James Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Boston Field Division (ATF); 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 September 14, 2021, a federal grand jury in Hartford returned a 36-count indictment charging Jones 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, Jones admitted that he trafficked narcotics in furtherance of the 960 enterprise, and that he was aware that 960 members were engaged in violent activity and committed murders and attempted murders.

Jones has been detained since his arrest on June 27, 2019. He is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Kari A. Dooley on June 11; at which time he faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.

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 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.

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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