John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that RASCELL LEGGETT, 31, Hartford, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Janet C. Hall in New Haven to one count of possession of firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

According to court documents and statements made in court, on June 22, 2011, Leggett was sentenced in New Haven federal court to 60 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for distributing marijuana and crack cocaine in Hartford.  He was released from federal prison in February 2015.  Leggett subsequently violated the conditions of his supervised release and, in June 2016, was sentenced to an additional four months of imprisonment, followed by two years and eight months of imprisonment.  He was released from federal prison in November 2016.

In August 2017, Leggett was arrested by Hartford Police and charged with illegal operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and illegal operation of a motor vehicle under suspension.  Leggett subsequently failed to appear for a federal supervised release violation hearing on November 6, 2017.

On December 18, 2017, investigators arrested Leggett after they stopped a vehicle he was operating on Albany Avenue in Hartford.  A search of the car revealed 148 bags of heroin, a Ruger 9mm pistol loaded with 14 rounds of ammunition, and $655 in cash.  A search of Leggett’s person revealed approximately four grams of crack cocaine.  At the time of his arrest, Leggett also had an active Hartford Police arrest warrant for attempted first degree assault with a firearm, criminal possession of a weapon, and risk if injury to a minor.

Leggett has been detained since his arrest.

Judge Hall scheduled sentencing for January 10, 2019, at which time Leggett faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life.  Leggett also faces supervised release violation proceedings.

This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes Task Force, which includes members of the Hartford Police Department, East Hartford Police Department, Connecticut State Police and Connecticut Department of Correction.  The Hartford Police Department’s Vice and Narcotics Division provided valuable assistance to the investigation.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian P. Leaming.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make neighborhoods safer for everyone.