Bridgeport man sentenced to 15 years in prison

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BRIDGEPORT — A drug trafficker from Bridgeport was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for trafficking fentanyl and heroin, Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced today.

Wallace Best, also known as “Coop,” 57, received the sentence from U.S. District Judge Victor A. Bolden in New Haven yesterday.

Best’s sentence includes 180 months of imprisonment, followed by 10 years of supervised release.

According to court documents and statements made in court, the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Bridgeport High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force began investigating an organization in 2019 that was distributing heroin, fentanyl, and crack cocaine in and around Bridgeport.

Task Force members made four controlled purchases of heroin and fentanyl from Frank Best during the investigation.

Wiretaps and hundreds of consensual recordings revealed that Frank Best’s uncles, Wallace Best and Jeffrey Thomas, were supplying Frank Best and others with narcotics.

The investigation also found that Jeffrey Thomas collaborated with Jason Cox to connect with Mexican-sourced drug suppliers in California.

This connection provided kilogram quantities of narcotics for East Coast distribution.

In December 2019, a cooperating source working with Best, Thomas, and Cox purchased 1.1 kilograms of fentanyl cut with Xylazine and Tramadol from their suppliers in a San Diego Home Depot parking lot for $27,000.

Following this transaction, the conspirators planned to buy five kilograms of heroin.

On February 10, 2020, four individuals were arrested at the same location while conducting the transaction, and investigators seized a box containing approximately 4.9 kilograms of heroin.

A subsequent search of a storage locker in San Diego uncovered an additional five kilograms of heroin.

On October 14, 2022, a jury found Best, Thomas, and Cox guilty of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute kilogram quantities of heroin and fentanyl.

Additionally, Best, Thomas, and Frank Best were found guilty of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute heroin, fentanyl, and crack cocaine.

Frank Best was also convicted of five counts of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of heroin, fentanyl, and crack cocaine.

Best’s criminal history includes a federal cocaine trafficking conviction in 2002.

He was arrested on February 11, 2020, and released on a $150,000 bond.

He is required to report to prison on July 15.

Cox was sentenced to 125 months of imprisonment on April 24.

Thomas and Frank Best await sentencing.

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