Leonard C Boyle, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that SEAN THOMAS, 32, of Rocky Hill, pleaded guilty today via videoconference to one count of possession with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl.
According to court documents and statements made in court, in 2020, Hartford Police were investigating Thomas and others for distributing fentanyl and marijuana. As part of the investigation, an undercover officer purchased marijuana from an employee at Puff Paradise, a smoke shop on New Britain Avenue owned by Thomas. On June 2, 2020, in anticipation of executing multiple search warrants, investigators surveilled Thomas as he drove his car from his Rocky Hill residence to Kenneth Street in Hartford, where he entered a parked Dodge Durango. Believing that Thomas was conducting a narcotics transaction, detectives approached the Durango. Tafarie Green, the driver of the vehicle, accelerated and drove straight at the detectives who leaped out of the way. He then drove at a high rate of speed onto a sidewalk and through two chain link fences before he crashed into a tree. Green fled the scene on foot, but Thomas was immediately apprehended. A subsequent search of Puff Paradise revealed approximately three pounds of marijuana, and a search of Thomas’s residence revealed more than 100 grams of unpackaged fentanyl, approximately 3,500 bags of packaged fentanyl, items used to process and package narcotics for street sale, and $16,511 in cash.
Thomas is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant in Hartford on April 20, 2022, at which time he faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years and a maximum term of imprisonment of 40 years.
Thomas is released on a $100,000 bond pending sentencing.
Green, who was on federal supervised release, was arrested on July 13, 2020. He pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a felon and, on August 31, 2021, was sentenced to 62 months of imprisonment.
This matter has been investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Northern Connecticut Gang Task Force and the Hartford Police Department’s Vice, Intelligence and Narcotics Unit, with the assistance of the Connecticut Forensic Science Laboratory. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian P. Leaming.