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Waterbury Man Charged with Drug Distribution and Gun Possession Offenses

Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and James Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge, ATF Boston Field Division, and Waterbury Chief of Police Fernando C. Spagnolo today announced that a federal grand jury in New Haven has returned an indictment charging CHRISTOPHER POLLER, 28, of Waterbury, was drug distribution and firearm possession offenses.

The indictment was returned on August 9.  On September 6, Poller appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge S. Dave Vatti in Bridgeport and pleaded not guilty to the charges.  Poller has been detained since his arrest on related state charges on May 3.

The indictment alleges that, on May 3, 2022, Poller possessed quantities of fentanyl and crack cocaine that he intended to distribute, and two loaded handguns.

The indictment further alleges that Poller’s criminal history includes state felony convictions for narcotics distribution, larceny, assault, escape, and weapons possession offenses.  It is a violation of federal law for a person previously convicted of a felony offense to possess a firearm or ammunition that has moved in interstate or foreign commerce.

The indictment charges Poller with possession with intent to distribute fentanyl and cocaine base (“crack”), an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years; unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years; and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, an offense that carries a mandatory consecutive term of imprisonment of at least five years.

U.S. Attorney Avery stressed that an indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.  Charges are only allegations and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This matter is being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Waterbury Police Department.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine E. Boyles through Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  In May 2021, the Justice Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: Fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

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