New Haven Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Drug Trafficking Offense

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Bundle of one hundred dollar bills and drugs heroin or cocaine on a black background. The concept of combating crime and drugs

Leonard C Boyle, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that CHAWN BATTLE, 49, of New Haven, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea in Hartford to 21 months of imprisonment, followed by four years of supervised release, for a narcotics trafficking offense.

According to court documents and statements made in court, in 2019, the DEA New Haven Task Force began an investigation into a New Haven-based drug trafficking network headed by Michael Smith, also known as “Head.”  The investigation, which included court-authorized wiretaps, revealed that Smith and others were distributing heroin and crack cocaine throughout the New Haven area.  Battle was one of Smith’s cocaine suppliers.

In December 2019, Smith was intercepted on a wiretap describing having shot at a rival drug dealer.  New Haven Police collected 31 shell casings from a location in the Fair Haven neighborhood where the shooting occurred.  Smith was arrested on December 23, 2019.

Battle was arrested on September 16, 2020.  On March 24, 2021, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine.


Battle’s criminal history spans more than 30 years and includes several convictions, including a federal conviction in 2001 for distributing more than one kilogram of PCP.  He was sentenced to 151 months of imprisonment for that prior federal offense.

On April 15, 2021, Smith pleaded guilty to drug, firearm and money laundering charges.  He awaits sentencing.

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This investigation is being conducted by the DEA New Haven Task Force, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division, and the New Haven, West Haven, Hamden, East Haven, North Haven, Ansonia, Meriden and Derby Police Departments.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys John T. Pierpont, Jr. and Elena L. Coronado through the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Program.  OCDETF identifies, disrupts and dismantles drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs and transnational criminal organizations through a prosecutor-led and intelligence-driven approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.  Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.

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