The FBI claims that they recently managed to tidy up the streets of one Connecticut city. Over 20 people were involved in the sweeping arrests of alleged drug dealers in Hartford, Connecticut. However, aside from the drug charges, authorities claim that those they arrested may have been involved with more than just drug dealing.
The investigation lasted for a year before authorities arrested a total of 23 people who they claim were involved in a street gang. The gang leader and five other individuals were arrested following what was the sale of apparently a substantial amount of crack cocaine. Although not present at that particular sale, the other 19 have been accused of also being involved in the overall drug distribution that the gang participated in.
Local law enforcement officers worked alongside FBI agents during the investigation. It is believed that gang members may have also been involved in local gun violence, although authorities apparently focused mainly on the alleged drug crimes in which the gang is accused of participating. Police charged an additional two individuals for the gang's association with and sale of crack cocaine, but they have been unable to locate them at this time.
Of those facing drug charges, the youngest is only 19 years old while the remainder are largely in their twenties. Drug crimes associated with gangs can sometimes garner harsh consequences in Connecticut, where the manufacture and sale of illegal drugs is an important social issue, and the outcome of such charges has the ability to alter the future course of an individual. Although some of the arrested may have indeed been part of the gang that authorities claim they are, it rests upon the prosecution to prove that these mostly young men were also involved in the distribution and sale of crack cocaine. Until such a time, the law provides them the protection of assumed innocence for their charges.
Source: The Courant, "Indictment Charges 25 With Involvement In Hartford Gang's Drug Operation", Kelly Glista, May 1, 2014