Waterbury Man Pleads Guilty to Drug Distribution and Firearm Possession 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 LENWOOD GATLING, 38, of Waterbury, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea in Hartford to narcotics distribution and firearm possession offenses.

According to court documents and statements made in court, between July and October 2020, a DEA New Haven Task Force investigation revealed that Gatling was using a storage unit he rented at a facility located on Meriden Road in Waterbury to store and distribute narcotics.  Gatling was arrested on October 14, 2020.  On that date, a court-authorized search of the storage unit revealed nine firearms, three of which were reported stolen; approximately 420 grams of fentanyl packaged in approximately 11,000 individual use bags; approximately 99 grams of heroin; approximately nine grams of cocaine; and approximately $30,000 in cash.

Gatling’s criminal history includes multiple felony 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.

Gatling pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin, which carries a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years and a maximum term of imprisonment of 40 years, and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years.  A sentencing date is not scheduled.

Gatling has been detained since his arrest.

The Drug Enforcement Administration 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.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patricia Stolfi Collins and Neeraj N. Patel.