Violent New Haven drug trafficker sentenced to 13 years in federal prison


Date: August 26, 2022


Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that Michael Smith, also known as "Head," of New Haven, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea in Hartford to 156 months of imprisonment, followed by four years of supervised release, for narcotics trafficking, gun possession and money laundering offenses.

According to court documents and statements made in court, in 2019, the DEA New Haven Task Force began an investigation into a New Haven-based drug trafficking network headed by Smith. The investigation, which included court-authorized wiretaps, revealed that Smith and his associates were distributing heroin and crack cocaine throughout the New Haven area. Smith's girlfriend, Keilah Boria, maintained bank accounts that Smith used to launder the cash proceeds of his drug trafficking activity. From 2016 to 2019, Boria deposited more than $200,000 in cash into the bank accounts. Boria rented vehicles for Smith that Smith used to conduct his drug trafficking activity.

In December 2019, Smith was intercepted on a wiretap describing having shot at a rival drug dealer. New Haven Police collected 31 shell casings from a location in the Fair Haven neighborhood where the shooting occurred. Smith was arrested on December 23, 2019.

Smith has been detained since his arrest. On April 15, 2021, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine base ("crack"), possession of a firearm in furtherance of a narcotics trafficking offense, and conspiracy to launder the proceeds of a specified unlawful activity.

Boria pleaded guilty to related charges and, on September 14, 2021, was sentenced to nine months of imprisonment.

This investigation has been conducted by the DEA New Haven Task Force, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division, and the New Haven, West Haven, Hamden, East Haven, North Haven, Ansonia, Meriden and Derby Police Departments.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys John T. Pierpont, Jr. and Elena L. Coronado through the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Program. 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.