Stratford man indicted on drug, gun charges

A 23-year-old Stratford man faces federal charges for trafficking in drugs and illegally possessing firearms.

Mark Leigh James, also known as “Rich,” was arrested by federal authorities Oct. 5, according to a press release Friday, Nov. 6, from Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut.

Authorities allege that in July and August, Fairfield Police, working with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Bridgeport High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force, made four controlled purchases of a total of about 58 grams of methamphetamine from Leigh-James. In August and September, Fairfield Police and the DEA Task Force made two additional controlled purchases of a total of approximately 187 grams of methamphetamine from Leigh-James.

Leigh-James was arrested on federal criminal complaint on Oct. 5. At the time of his arrest, Leigh-James was carrying a backpack that contained approximately 7.5 grams of heroin. A subsequent search of his vehicle revealed a second backpack containing approximately 120 grams of methamphetamine, a loaded .380 semi-automatic handgun and a loaded .44 magnum revolver, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

On Oct. 14, a federal grand jury in Bridgeport returned a nine-count indictment charging Leigh-James with two counts of possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, and one count of possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.  These charges carry a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life.

The indictment also charges Leigh-James with four of possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, methamphetamine, one count of possession with intent to distribute heroin, and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

If convicted of the firearm offense, Leigh-James faces a mandatory consecutive term of imprisonment of five years.

 

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