A Connecticut gang member who could have been released from Maine State Prison as early as next week was sentenced Thursday to three years in federal prison for conspiring to distribute crack cocaine in the Bangor area.

The federal sentence is on top of a 34-month sentence Torrence Benton, 28, of New Haven, already served on a related state charge, according to an announcement by U.S. Attorney Thomas Delahanty II.

Benton, who also used the names “T-Black” and “Scotty,” was a member of the Red Side GuerillaBrims, a New Haven-based street gang affiliated with a larger national gang, the Bloods. Benton was arrested by Old Town police on April 7, 2013, in possession of 10 grams of crack cocaine, the announcement said.

According to the Maine Department of Corrections, Benton’s earliest release date would have been Monday.

The U.S. Attorney for Connecticut has charged several members of the Red Side Guerilla Brims in Connecticut with racketeering and said the operation included trading drugs for guns in Bangor. In February, a federal grand jury in U.S. District Court in Bangor indicted 10 people in connection with the guns-for-drugs scheme.

Throughout 2012 and into 2013, several so-called straw purchasers bought 15 handguns at Bangor-area pawnshops. The guns were 9 mm, .40- and .45-caliber and .357 Magnum, according to court papers. The people lied on the required forms, failing to disclose they were buying the guns for someone else and that they had addiction and substance abuse issues, prosecutors said.

The pawnshops where the guns were purchased are not accused of any wrongdoing.

Several gang members and associates in Connecticut also have been charged with murder, racketeering, firearms violations, drug trafficking and money laundering.


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