NEW HAVEN — A four-month initiative to stem violent crime in Bridgeport and New Haven resulted in the seizure of 73 illegal guns and the expected prosecution of 154 people on firearms, drugs and robbery charges, law enforcement officials announced Wednesday.
During Operation Samson, which involved covert operations by agents with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms as well as New Haven and Bridgeport police, authorities said they recovered more than one kilogram of crack cocaine, about 750 grams of powder cocaine, more than 200 grams of heroin, more than seven kilograms of marijuana and about 400 prescription drug pills.
Investigators uncovered two firearms trafficking rings that brought about 130 guns into Connecticut, prosecutors said. Those cases remain under investigation.
One recovered gun has been linked to a previously unsolved homicide and five additional shooting investigations, authorities said.
“The citizens of New Haven and Bridgeport have been victimized by violent criminals who act with total disregard for public safety, and our goal is to take these offenders off the streets, period,” said Daniel J. Kumor, special agent in charge of the ATF Boston Field Division. “The partnership of law enforcement and prosecutors in Connecticut taking a united stand contributed to the operation’s overall success.”
During Operation Samson, authorities conducted about 425 operations, including undercover meetings, controlled purchases of firearms and narcotics, and the execution of search and arrest warrants. As a result, 80 people have been charged or are expected to be charged with federal firearms, narcotics and robbery violations, and 74 defendants have been charged, or are expected to be charged, with state offenses.
Operation Samson is the ninth such initiative conducted by ATF since 2012.