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West Hell gang member sentenced to 10 years in prison for trafficking crack cocaine

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Gregory “Quanny” Thomas, a member of the West Hell street gang in New Haven, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for trafficking crack cocaine Thursday. He had sold the drugs directly to undercover police.

This sentence is the result of a year-long joint law enforcement investigation headed by the FBI’s Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes Task Force into narcotics trafficking by members and associates of the West Hell street gang, and gang-related violent activity.

The investigation, which included the use of court-authorized wiretaps, controlled purchases of narcotics and physical surveillance, identified 24-year-old Melkuan Scott, also known as “Young God,” “Mel,” “Young” and “YG,” as the leader of the West Hell street gang who, along with his associates, including Thomas, distributed crack cocaine in the Westland Street area of Hartford.

Thomas was intercepted over wiretaps numerous times engaging in drug-related conversations and, between May 2013 and November 2013, investigators made 17 controlled purchases of crack directly from him.

His criminal history includes a state conviction in 2009 for assault in the second degree and carrying a pistol without a permit. This conviction stemmed from Thomas shooting two people in February 2009 in Hartford. He has been in state custody since February 11, 2014, serving a state sentence related to his possession and distribution of crack and PCP.

On May 4, 2015, 24-year-old Thomas pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 280 grams or more of cocaine base (“crack cocaine”).

Twenty-five individuals were charged as a result of the investigation. Scott and 22 other defendants pleaded guilty to various offenses. One defendant was shot and killed while his case was pending.

Gang leader Melkuan Scott awaits sentencing.

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