Gray back in prison on drug-dealing charges

New London native Bennie Gray Jr., released on parole in June after serving almost two decades in prison for manslaughter, was arrested by Groton Town Police on Sept. 5 on drug possession and distribution charges.

Gray, 38, who listed his home address as 355 Long Hill Road, is being held at the Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Institution in Montville and is scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 19 in New London Superior Court. He is charged with possession of cocaine, possession of heroin and two counts of possession of narcotics with intent to sell.

He was arrested at the Walgreen's Pharmacy on Long Hill Road, according to a court document. Police said they seized from him a knotted plastic bag with a white, rocklike substance weighing 3.2 grams and three knotted bags with beige powder weighing 1.54 grams. They also seized an unopened bottol of Inosotil powder, which is often used as a cutting agent for illegal drugs and two cellphones, according to the report.

Gray, who had been been sentenced to 23 years for the shooting death in New London of DeJohn Strong, has had a bumpy reintroduction to society since the Board of Pardons and Paroles granted him parole in January 2016.

He was released to a Hartford halfway house in May 2016 after serving more than 18 years, but was returned to prison on Nov. 28, 2016, after leaving the halfway house after curfew.

He remained incarcerated until April 24, 2017, when he was released on a re-entry furlough and was granted supervised parole on June 7, 2017, according to the Department of Correction.

In an interview with The Day last year, Gray said he was attending college, working and would like to become a lawyer one day. He said he would be living in New Britain with Candace Foster, whom he met and married while incarcerated, and that he had no intention of moving back to the New London area.

But things didn't work out with Foster, and Gray was living in Groton.

"We're not really together," Foster said when reached by phone Monday. "I'm really sad that he's in jail. It's not something i wanted. I hope all is well with him and I hope everything works out."



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