- Associated Press - Monday, December 5, 2016

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - A reputed Hartford street gang member went on trial Monday in federal court, accused of gunning down a Windsor man in 2011.

Prosecutors allege 27-year-old Arthur Stanley, known on the street as “Wiggs,” was looking to improve his standing in the West Hell gang when he shot 23-year-old Keith Washington in the head on July 15, 2011.

Stanley is charged with committing a violent crime in aid of racketeering, specifically the slaying of Washington.

The charge carries a possible federal death sentence, but prosecutors have indicated they will seek a life prison term if Stanley is convicted.

His case is being handled in federal, rather than state court as part of an ongoing FBI task force investigation into the West Hell gang and rival neighborhood street gangs involved in Hartford’s drug trade.

Stanley was among 25 people arrested in a May 2014 crackdown by the task force on gang activity in Hartford’s North End, a sweep that state and federal officials said seriously disrupted the distribution of crack cocaine in the city.

He was in prison on those charges when a federal grand jury returned the murder indictment in October 2015.

Stanley was wounded during least two Hartford shootings, surviving attacks at a fast-food restaurant in 2008 and outside a convenience store in 2014.

Stanley’s lawyers argue in court documents that the murder charge is based in part on the statements of unreliable jailhouse informants and plan to object to the testimony of those witnesses.

This is one of several federal murder cases brought as a result of the investigation of gang activity in Hartford by the task force, which includes members of the FBI, federal Drug Enforcement Administration, Hartford Police Department and Cold Case Unit of the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney.

In August, 25-year-old Karl Roye, of Hartford, was convicted in the April 2011 shooting of Anthony Parker, who was killed as he sat in parked car.

Prosecutors said Roye was a member of another Hartford neighborhood gang known as Team Grease. He is awaiting sentencing.

“We will continue to focus our attention on these groups until the shootings and murders stop,” Deidre Daily, Connecticut’s U.S. Attorney, said at the time.


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