John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and David J. Freed, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, announced that SHAWN HILL, also known as “SB,” 37, of New Haven, pleaded guilty today to assaulting a federal correctional officer, and distributing heroin and crack cocaine shortly after his release from federal custody.
Pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the guilty plea proceeding before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert M. Spector in the District of Connecticut occurred via videoconference.
According to court documents and statements made in court, on March 11, 2016, Hill was sentenced in Hartford federal court to 72 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. After his sentencing, Hill was incarcerated at USP Canaan, a high-security federal prison in Waymart, Pennsylvania. On June 30, 2017, a correctional officer located a 6-inch metal “ice pick” style weapon in Hill’s left sock. About an hour later, as prison staff attempted to put hand restraints on Hill so that Hill could be transported to the prison’s Special Housing Unit, Hill slipped his arm out of the restraints and struck a correctional officer in the head with a restraint that was still attached to one of his hands, causing injury to the correctional officer.
On September 19, 2017, a grand jury in the Middle District of Pennsylvania returned an indictment charging Hill with one count of assaulting a federal correctional officer, and one count of possessing contraband in prison.
On April 4, 2019, after he had completed his 72-month sentence, Hill was released on bond while his charges in the Middle District of Pennsylvania were pending.
On April 11, 2019, Hill was intercepted over a court-authorized wiretap during an investigation being conducted by the FBI’s New Haven Safe Streets/Gang Task Force and New Haven Police Department addressing drug trafficking and related acts of violence by members, former members and associates of the “Island Brothers” street gang in New Haven. The wiretap confirmed that Hill was involved in the acquisition and distribution of heroin and crack cocaine.
On July 9, 2019, a grand jury in New Haven returned a 15-count indictment charging 25 individuals with federal narcotics offenses related to the distribution of crack cocaine, cocaine and heroin. Hill and another individual were added as defendants in a superseding indictment that was returned on November 25, 2019.
Hill has been detained since November 26, 2019. His case in the Middle District of Pennsylvania was subsequently transferred to the District of Connecticut for further prosecution.
Today, Hill pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine base (“crack”) and heroin, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years, and one count of assault on a correctional officer, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of eight years. Hill also admitted that he violated the conditions of his supervised release, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of two years.
Hill is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Robert N. Chatigny in Hartford on December 15, 2020.
This matter is being investigated by the FBI’s New Haven Safe Streets/Gang Task Force, New Haven Police Department, Milford Police Department, Hamden Police Department, East Haven Police Department, Connecticut State Police, Connecticut Department of Correction, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anthony E. Kaplan, Peter D. Markle and Elena L. Coronado of the District of Connecticut, and Robert J. O’Hara of the Middle District of Pennsylvania.