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Investigative Press Release
Issuing Office: New Haven CT
Category: Narcotics

New Haven Drug Trafficker Sentenced to 12 Years in Federal Prison

Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that JASHON SPEARMAN, also known as “J ” and “Deuce,” 35, of New Haven, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Sarala V. Nagala in Hartford to 144 months of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release, for his role in a New Haven area drug trafficking ring operating in the West Hills neighborhood of New Haven.

According to court documents and statements made in court, in the fall of 2021, the New Haven Safe Streets/Gang Task Force and New Haven Police Department began investigating Spearman and others for the distribution of fentanyl, heroin crack and cocaine in and around the West Hills neighborhood, including the McConaughy Terrace housing complex located on South Genesee Street in New Haven.  The investigation, which included court-authorized wiretaps, fixed video surveillance and controlled purchases of narcotics, revealed that Spearman was receiving fentanyl and heroin from James Hillard, of New York, and shipments of kilogram quantities of cocaine through the U.S. Mail from Puerto Rico, which were arranged by Jean Mangual-Castro, also known as “Mangui,” of West Haven.  Spearman then distributed the drugs to others, several of whom processed, packaged, and sold fentanyl and crack at the McConaughy Terrace housing complex.

On February 4, 2022, investigators arrested Spearman and Hillard after they met in the Bronx and a search of Hillard’s car revealed more than 7,000 folds of heroin/fentanyl and approximately $30,000 in cash.

On February 8, 2022, investigators executed court-authorized search warrants at several locations, including a residence on Ward Street in New Haven where Spearman distributed narcotics, and vehicles in which Spearman was suspected of storing narcotics.  A search of a minivan revealed approximately 19 kilograms of cocaine; a search of a vehicle registered to Spearman revealed $750,400 in cash, assorted jewelry valued at over $112,000, and fentanyl, crack, and heroin; and a search of the Ward Street residence revealed additional cash, several money counters, and numerous cellphones.  Investigators also seized five firearms during the searches.

On February 15, 2022, a grand jury in New Haven returned an indictment charging Spearman, Hilliard and six co-defendants with narcotics trafficking offenses.  On April 19, 2022, Spearman, Mangual-Castro, and two others were charged in a separate indictment with offenses related to the trafficking of cocaine through the mail from Puerto Rico.  

Spearman has been detained since his arrest.  On June 30, 2023, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five or more kilograms of cocaine, 40 grams or more of fentanyl, and a quantity of cocaine base (“crack”) and heroin.

Judge Nagala ordered Spearman to forfeit the seized cash, jewelry, firearms, and three vehicles.

All 11 defendants charged during this investigation pleaded guilty.  On May 11, 2023, Mangual-Castro was sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment.  On December 12, 2023, Hillard was sentenced to 12 months and one day of imprisonment.

This investigation was conducted by the FBI’s New Haven Safe Streets/Gang Task Force, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s Narcotics and Bulk Cash Trafficking Task Force, and the New Haven Police Department.  The FBI’s New Haven Safe Streets/Gang Task Force includes participants from the New Haven Police Department, Milford Police Department, East Haven Police Department, West Haven Police Department, Connecticut State Police, and the Connecticut Department of Correction.  The U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s Narcotics and Bulk Cash Trafficking Task Force includes members from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the U.S. Postal Service – Office of the Inspector General, the Connecticut Army National Guard, and the Hartford, New Britain, Meriden, and Town of Groton Police Departments.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anthony E. Kaplan and Kenneth L. Gresham through the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Program.  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.