Norwich man indicted on firearm possession, drug charges

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New Haven — A federal grand jury has indicted a 29-year-old Norwich man on charges related to firearm possession and drug trafficking, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut John H. Durham announced in a news release.

Daniel Francois, also known as "Bear," was arraigned Tuesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert M. Spector, after the indictment was returned on June 19, the release said.

The indictment alleges that Francois, who has been detained since his arrest on May 20, had distributed crack cocaine on that day and had two Davis model P-380 .380 caliber pistols, according to the release. He previously had been convicted of robbery and drug offenses, the indictment alleges.

Francois was charged in the indictment with one count of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of cocaine base, “crack,” a charge that carries a maximum prison term of 20 years; one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, a charge with a maximum prison term of 10 years, and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, a charge that carries a mandatory consecutive prison term of at least five years, according to the release.

Durham emphasized that an indictment is not evidence of guilt, and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Ledyard and Norwich police departments, with help from Connecticut State Parole, are investigating, according to the release. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Margaret E. Maigret is prosecuting the case. Project Safe Neighborhoods, which is "a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make neighborhoods safer for everyone," brought the prosecution.

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