Bridgeport Gang Member Pleads Guilty to Federal Racketeering Charge Stemming from 2018 Murder

Leonard C Boyle, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that TA’RON PHARR, also known as “250,” 21, of Bridgeport, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Kari A. Dooley in Bridgeport to a racketeering charge stemming from a gang-related murder in Bridgeport’s East End in August 2018.

According to court documents and statements made in court, the FBI, ATF, DEA, U.S. Marshals Service and Bridgeport Police have been investigating multiple Bridgeport-based gangs whose members are involved in narcotics trafficking, murder and other acts of violence.  Pharr was a member of the Original North End (“O.N.E.”), a gang based in the Trumbull Gardens area of Bridgeport that committed acts of violence against rival gang, including the East End gang, the East Side gang, and the PT Barnum gang.  O.N.E. members also robbed drug dealers, sold narcotics, laundered narcotics proceeds, and stole cars from inside and outside Connecticut and used the cars to commit crimes.

On August 8, 2018, Pharr and other O.N.E. members stole a white Jeep Grand Cherokee in Newburgh, New York, and drove it back to Bridgeport.  In the early morning hours of August 13, 2018, O.N.E. members drove the stolen Jeep to Union Avenue in Bridgeport where they shot and killed Len Smith, 25, who they mistook for a rival East End group member, and shot and seriously wounded Smith’s female companion, both of whom were seated in a parked car.  After the shooting, Pharr and others transported the Jeep to Indian Wells State Park in Shelton where they burned the vehicle in an effort to destroy evidence of the murder.

Pharr pleaded guilty to one count of engaging in a pattern of racketeering activity, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.  He has been detained since July 7, 2020.

This ongoing investigation is being conducted by the FBI’s Safe Streets and Violent Crimes Task Forces, ATF, DEA, U.S. Marshals Service, Bridgeport Police Department, Connecticut State Police and the Bridgeport State’s Attorney’s Office, with the assistance of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Connecticut Forensic Science Laboratory and the Waterbury Police Department.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rahul Kale, Jocelyn C. Kaoutzanis, Peter D. Markle and Karen L. Peck.

This prosecution is a part of the Justice’s Department’s Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), Project Longevity and Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) programs.  PSN is a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make neighborhoods safer for everyone.  Project Longevity is a comprehensive initiative to reduce gun violence in Connecticut’s major cities.  Through Project Longevity, community members and law enforcement directly engage with members of groups that are prone to commit violence and deliver a community message against violence, a law enforcement message about the consequences of further violence and an offer of help for those who want it.  OCDETF identifies, disrupts and dismantles drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs and transnational criminal organizations through a prosecutor-led and intelligence-driven approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.  Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.

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