Bridgeport Gang Member Sentenced to 78 Months for Federal Gun Possession Offense

Leonard C Boyle, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that CHAZ DEAR, also known as “Spazz,” 24, of Bridgeport, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant in Hartford to 78 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for illegally possessing a loaded handgun. 

According to court documents and statements made in court, in late 2019, law enforcement received information that Dear, who was on state parole, was selling marijuana.  Investigators subsequently made a controlled purchase of marijuana from Dear.  On January 30, 2020, Dear was arrested after a court-authorized search of his residence revealed a Glock 27, .40 caliber handgun with an extended magazine loaded with 23 rounds of ammunition, as well as small quantities of heroin and crack cocaine.

Dear has been a member of the “Greene Homes Boyz” (“GHB/Hotz”), a gang based in the Charles F. Greene Homes Housing Complex in Bridgeport’s North End, and his criminal history includes state felony convictions for narcotics, weapon and larceny offenses.  In text messages in the weeks prior to his arrest in this case, Dear and other GHB/Hotz members discussed their prior and planned shootings of rival gang members.  Judge Bryant found that, in the approximately six months Dear was on state parole prior to his arrest, he was dealing narcotics and firearms, and that the Glock 27 he possessed had the potential to aid those other felony offenses.

Dear has been detained since his arrest.  On March 31, 2021, he pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a felon.

This matter was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), Connecticut State Police Statewide Narcotics Task Force and Bridgeport Police Department.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rahul Kale.

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 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.

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.  If a group member elects to engage in gun violence, the focused attention of federal, state and local law enforcement will be directed at that entire group.

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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