JAMAR TRAYLOR, also known as ‘J-Hop’, 22, of Bridgeport, pleaded guilty yesterday before U.S. District Judge Kari A. Dooley in Bridgeport to racketeering charges stemming from his participation in a violent gang from Bridgeport Street.
Today’s announcement was made by Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut; Joseph T. Corradino, State’s Attorney for the Judicial District of Fairfield; Bridgeport Acting Police Chief Rebeca Garcia; David Sundberg, special agent in charge of the New Haven division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; James Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge, ATF Boston Field Division; Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England, and Acting U.S. Marshal Lawrence Bobnick.
According to court documents and statements made in court, the FBI, ATF, DEA, US Marshals Service and Bridgeport police have investigated several Bridgeport-based gangs whose members are involved in drug trafficking, murder and other acts of violence. Traylor was a member of the Original North End (“ONE”), a gang based in the Trumbull Gardens area of Bridgeport that committed acts of violence against a rival gang, including the East End Gang, the East Side Gang, and the P.T. Barnum gang. . ONE members also robbed drug dealers, sold narcotics, laundered narcotics proceeds, and stole cars in and out of Connecticut and used the cars to commit crimes.
On August 8, 2018, Traylor and other ONE members stole a Jeep Grand Cherokee in Newburgh, New York, and drove it back to Bridgeport. In the following days, Traylor and others conspired to use the car to kill East End gang members and their allies whom they learned through social media were at a deli in Stratford Avenue in Bridgeport. Although that plan failed, in the early morning hours of August 13, 2018, ONE members drove the stolen Jeep to Union Avenue in Bridgeport where they shot and killed 25-year-old Len Smith, whom they believed to be a member of rival band East End, and shot and seriously injured Smith’s girlfriend, who were both sitting in a parked car. After the shooting, members of ONE transported the Jeep to Indian Wells State Park in Shelton where they burned the vehicle in an effort to destroy evidence of the murder.
On October 22, 2018, Traylor and others committed a violent robbery against a marijuana dealer.
On June 1, 2021, Traylor, who was on probation at the time after a felony weapons conviction by the state, owned five Glock handguns and ammunition.
Traylor pleaded guilty to one count of participating in a pattern of racketeering activity, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years. He has been detained since June 1, 2021.
This ongoing investigation is being led by the FBI’s Safe Streets and Violent Crime Task Forces, ATF, DEA, US Marshals Service, Bridgeport Police Department, Connecticut State Police and Bridgeport State’s Attorney’s Office, with assistance from the US Postal Inspection Service, Connecticut. Forensic Science Laboratory and the Waterbury Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Karen L. Peck, Rahul Kale, Jocelyn C. Kaoutzanis and Tara E. Levens.
The lawsuit is part of the Justice Department’s Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), Project Longevity, and Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OECDTF) programs.
The NSP is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice‘s violent crime reduction efforts. The NSP is an evidence-based program that has been shown to be effective in reducing violent crime. Through the PSN, a wide range of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime issues in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, the PSN focuses its law enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with local prevention and rehabilitation programs for a lasting reduction 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 engage directly with members of groups at risk of violence and deliver a community message against violence, a message from law enforcement on the consequences of further violence and an offer of help for those who want it. If any member of the group chooses to engage in gun violence, the attention of federal, state, and local law enforcement will be directed to that group as a whole.
The OECDTF identifies, disrupts and dismantles drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs and transnational criminal organizations through a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven approach that leverages law enforcement forces federal, state and local. Additional information about the OECDTF program is available at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.