Sample Block

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Connecticut Financial Center
157 Church Street
New Haven, Connecticut 06510

For Immediate Release

March 4, 2010

Contact: Tom Carson, Public Information Officer

(203) 821-3722

(203) 996-1393 (cell)

Project Safe Neighborhoods:
Jury Convicts Stamford Man on Federal Gun and Drug Charges

Nora R. Dannehy, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that a federal jury in Hartford has found GREGORY RUSSELL, also known as “Fat G” and “G,” formerly of Carrol Avenue, Stamford, guilty of one count of unlawfully possessing a firearm after being convicted of a felony offense, one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine base (“crack cocaine”), and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.  The trial before United States District Judge Christopher F. Droney began on March 1 and the verdict was returned yesterday, March 3.

According to the evidence presented at trial, on July 25, 2009, officers with the Stamford Narcotics and Organized Crime Unit who were conducting a drug investigation observed RUSSELL enter a car at the intersection of Atlantic Street and Woodland Avenue.  The officers were aware that a parole violation warrant had been issued for RUSSELL’S arrest.  When two officers attempted to take RUSSELL into custody, he refused their initial instructions to get out of the car.  RUSSELL then emerged from the car suddenly, spun away from the officer closest to him, reached into his waistband and withdrew a .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol.  As the officers attempted to subdue RUSSELL, he dropped the gun to the ground and fell to the sidewalk where he discarded 10 baggies of crack cocaine that were packaged for distribution.  RUSSELL was then secured in handcuffs.

It was later determined that the .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol was loaded with hollow-point ammunition, with one round in the chamber and the safety mechanism on the weapon off.

At the time of his arrest, RUSSELL also was found in possession of $754 in cash, and a search of the vehicle revealed crack cocaine that was packaged for distribution.

Prior to July 25, 2009, RUSSELL had been convicted of multiple felony offenses.  It is a violation of federal law for a person previously convicted of a felony offense to possess a firearm or ammunition that has moved in interstate or foreign commerce.

Judge Droney has scheduled sentencing for May 21, 2010, at which time RUSSELL faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a fine of up to $250,000 for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, and a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years and a fine of up to $1 million on the crack cocaine distribution count.  As a result of his conviction for possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, RUSSELL faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years and a maximum term of life, which must be imposed consecutively to any sentence imposed on the crack cocaine count.

RUSSELL has been incarcerated since his federal arrest on December 3, 2009.

This case was investigated by the Stamford Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.  The State of Connecticut Forensic Science Laboratory and the State of Connecticut Controlled Substances and Toxicology Laboratory provided critical assistance to the investigation.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Christopher M. Mattei.

U.S. Attorney Dannehy noted that this prosecution is part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative.  This program is aimed at reducing gun and gang violence, deterring illegal possession, sale and trafficking of guns, and improving the safety of residents throughout Connecticut.  Participants in the initiative include community members and organizations as well as federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.