By Jonathan Shugarts, Republican-American
WATERBURY — A supplier of a large amount of heroin and cocaine to a Waterbury drug ring was sentenced Nov. 20 to 10 years in federal prison.
Larry Hall, 49, of Naugatuck, was given the mandatory minimum sentence in connection with the distribution charge to which he pleaded guilty last year.
Authorities say Keith “Knowledge” Jordan, 50, of Waterbury, was the head of the drug trafficking organization that supplied area dealers with large quantities of heroin and cocaine, then sold those drugs to street-level dealers in the area.
The case against Jordan dates back to at least 2017, but the ring was broken up by a team of local and federal agents that arrested more than two dozen people in 2019. During raids of properties associated with the ring, authorities seized about 3,000 bags of heroin, nearly a pound of cocaine, 350 grams of a mix of fentanyl and heroin, 400 grams of raw heroin, 10 grams of crack, 20 pounds of marijuana, fentanyl patches, a press for compacting narcotics, four handguns, about $120,000 in cash and four vehicles.
In Hall’s case, authorities found $30,000 in the basement of his home in Naugatuck during the raids. Wiretaps placed on phones that belonged to members of the ring revealed that Hall had imported about 3.5 kilograms of heroin to the city during the 90 days federal wiretaps captured conversations by the ring’s members.
Hall was a source of “distribution” weights of raw heroin to area dealers, including a man who also served as a drug source for Jordan, according to federal authorities. Federal prosecutor S. Dave Vatti said Nov. 20 during Hall’s sentencing that a gram of heroin can be split and yield 50 bags of the drug, which means that the heroin supplied by Hall in those 90 days amounted to about 50,000 bags each month.
Hall, who was also convicted for selling narcotics in 1998, said his involvement with drugs started with pain pills and caused him to grow into a person he didn’t know. In doing so, he put the woman he loved, his partner, at risk of a prison sentence. He was living off other people’s sickness and addiction, he told the court, and was remorseful.
“I’m also filled with regret and sorrow to what I’ve done to my family, kids and community,” Hall said in a statement read by his attorney during the Nov. 20 hearing. “I would like to apologize to those that I just mentioned and to this court. I’m sorry.”
Waterbury has become a “hub” for heroin trafficking in Connecticut and to various points in other New England states, Vatti wrote in a sentencing memo. Addiction, opioid deaths and heroin abuse are continuing to fuel a problem that has reached epidemic proportions, he wrote.
“Here, the defendant enabled a heroin trafficking operation that permitted multiple individuals to obtain significant weights of heroin for redistribution in Greater Waterbury, and he did so primarily out of a desire to reap profit,” Vatti wrote. “While the government understands and acknowledges that defendant Hall suffers from an opioid addiction, the scale of the offense here and the cash being generated belies any assertion that this offense stemmed from a need to feed that addiction.”
Hall will have to serve five years of probation after he’s released from prison.