New Haven Man Charged with Federal Drug and Gun Offenses

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Leonard C Boyle, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that MAURICE MENAFEE, also known as “Mo,” 32, of New Haven, was arrested today on a federal criminal complaint charging him with drug and firearm offenses.

Menafee appeared today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert M. Spector in New Haven and is detained pending a detention hearing that is scheduled for March 4 at 9:30 a.m.

As alleged in court documents, in the morning of February 9, 2022, members of the Drug Enforcement Administration New Haven Task Force and the New Haven Police Department Shooting Task Force observed a car involved in suspected drug transactions at the intersection of Baldwin Street and Davenport Avenue in New Haven, and then traveling recklessly at high-rate of speed throughout the city.  Investigators subsequently located the vehicle parked at a residence on Plymouth Street and identified the driver as Menafee.  After Menafee was apprehended, a search of his person revealed $564 in cash and a search of the car revealed a Sig Sauer P238 .380 caliber pistol, 64 baggies of crack cocaine, and 116 wax folds of fentanyl.

Menafee was arrested on state charges on February 9 and released on bond.

It is alleged that Menafee’s criminal history includes state firearm and drug convictions.  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 complaint charges Menafee with possession with intent to distribute controlled substances, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years, and unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years.

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U.S. Attorney Boyle stressed that a complaint 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.

The DEA New Haven Task Force includes participants from the U.S. Marshals Service, Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division, Connecticut State Police and the New Haven, Hamden, West Haven, North Haven, East Haven, Branford, Ansonia, Meriden, Derby, Middletown, Naugatuck and Waterbury Police Departments.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Katherine E. Boyles and Nathaniel J. Gentile.


This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.