U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut Deirdre M. Daly announced Tuesday that 21 members of a now broken up street gang in New Haven have been convicted of federal charges.
“It brings to a close a very dark chapter in our city,” Acting New Haven Police Chief Anthony Campbell said of the resolution to local police working with federal law enforcement to target some of the city’s most violent criminals.
Robert Short, the 21st defendant from the Red Side Guerilla Brims gang, pleaded guilty in connection to a 2011 homicide in Hamden in Bridgeport Federal Court on Tuesday.
“They had a brutal and cold blooded presence in New Haven and in neighboring cities,” Daly said at a press conference. “Now due to the efforts of devoted law enforcement officers and agents the gang has been dismantled.”
These members of the New Haven sect of the Bloods street gang will be locked up for a long time. Some are facing life in prison, Daly said.
“Best case scenario for the defendants, they serve 85 percent of the time that they get,” Daly added.
In January 2014, New Haven Police and the ATF launched operation Red Side. Detectives tracked gang members trafficking semi-automatic guns and crack cocaine between Connecticut and Bangor, Maine.
“Last Friday, Jeffrey Benton, the leader of the gang admitted to his role in three murders,” Daly said.
The joint local-federal investigation has resolved seven cold case murders, four attempted murders and four armed robberies in 2011 and 2012, Daly said.
“When we work together,” Chief Campbell said. “We get the job done in a way that brings closure, that allows those seven families who have loved ones whose lives were taken in very violent manners to have closure and justice.”