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The Day – New London man sent back to prison after pandemic release

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New Haven — A New London man who was released from prison early due to the COVID-19 pandemic was sent back to prison Thursday for violating the terms of his release after he allegedly sold drugs to undercover police officers.

Meanwhile, police also were searching for his cousin, who also had been granted compassionate release, on similar drug charges.

Anthony Whitley, 38, appeared in federal court in New Haven on Thursday and was sentenced to 18 months in prison for violating the conditions of his early release. He was let out of prison 10 months ago on a “compassionate release” due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He had been serving a 60-month sentence, to be followed by four years of supervised release, after pleading guilty in 2018 to drug and firearms charges. Police had searched his home in 2017 and found 14 grams of heroin, about 27 grams of cocaine, 150 grams of crack cocaine, items used to package and process narcotics for sale, a handgun and nearly $10,000 in cash, according to court records.

On Sept. 24, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey A. Meyer changed Whitley’s sentence to only the time that he had served thus far, plus his four years of supervised release.

Six months after his release, on March 15, New London police arrested Whitley after they said he tried to sell narcotics to officers and then ran from police. He has been detained since May 5, when his release was revoked, and remains in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service, according to court officials.

Whitley also has several prior convictions, including felonies related to drugs and firearms, according to court records.

His cousin Bashon Whitley also was granted a compassionate release last year while serving a 60-month sentence. He also violated the conditions of his release, according to court records and Thomas Carson, a spokesperson for the U.S. attorney’s office.

Bashon Whitley was sentenced in September 2018 to 60 months in prison for possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, conspiracy to sell controlled substances, unlawful transport of firearms and possession of a firearm connected to a drug trafficking.

He was granted early release in August and in March was re-arrested after police allegedly spotted him trying to sell a woman drugs in New London while driving an unregistered car. According to court records, New London police approached him and conducted a search with a K-9 officer, during which they found at least 4.5 grams of crack cocaine in his pants.

He was charged with possession of narcotics, possession of narcotics with intent to sell and operating a vehicle without proper registration and was released on bond. He was scheduled to appear in court on May 19 but did not show up and was still being sought by law enforcement, according to Carson.

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https://www.theday.com/article/20210715/NWS04/210719638