Hartford Man Charged with Firearm Possession and Crack Distribution Offenses

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

Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, James Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge, ATF Boston Field Division, and Hartford Police Chief Jason Thody announced that a federal grand jury in Bridgeport returned an indictment today charging CHRISTOPHER GASKIN, 46, of Hartford, with firearm possession and narcotics distribution offenses.

As alleged in court documents and statements made in court, on January 1, 2022, Hartford Police stopped a car Gaskin was operating on Irving Street in Hartford.  Gaskin was arrested on state charges after a search of his person revealed a loaded .380 caliber handgun and a distribution quantity of crack cocaine.

It is alleged that Gaskin’s criminal history includes at least eight felony convictions, including convictions for assault, robbery and witness tampering 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.

The indictment charges Gaskin with unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon.  For this offense, based on his alleged criminal history, Gaskin is subject to the Armed Career Criminal Act, a federal law imposing severe penalties for firearm or ammunition possession by an individual who has been convicted of at least three violent felonies or serious drug offenses.  A defendant who qualifies as an Armed Career Criminal faces a minimum term of imprisonment of 15 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life.  Gaskin is also charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine base (“crack”), an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.

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U.S. Attorney Avery stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt.  Charges are only allegations, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Gaskin was arrested on a federal criminal complaint on April 28, 2022.  He is currently released on a $150,000.

This matter is being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and the Hartford Police Department.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Angel M. Krull.

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.