FBI Search In Newington Is Drug-Related, Police Say

Armed with a warrant, federal agents and police swarmed a Newington neighborhood early Thursday, searching a house as part of a regional drug operation, according to police .

More than a dozen FBI agents and local officers searched the house at 285 Maple Hill Ave., not far from the center of town, some carrying out paper bags and boxes of evidence. A woman who was at the house declined to comment about the search, which went on for hours. The agents left by 10 a.m., and at 10:15 a.m., the woman, two other adults and a child left in a car that sped down the long driveway in an effort to get past TV cameras.

The FBI did not say why they were searching the single-family home, but Hartford Deputy Chief Brian Foley it was drug-related and part of a larger operation.

Foley said officers from the city were at the scene of the search, which he said was one of “multiple narcotics search warrant operations in the region.”

There was no danger to residents, he said.

During the operation, more than a dozen unmarked cars and SUVs lined the road and driveway leading to the modified Cape, which is set back from Maple Hill Avenue. At least one police dog was used during the search.

The house is in a largely residential area off Cedar Street, across the street from the Indian Hill Country Club.

Newington Sgt. Christopher Perry said that the FBI had served a search warrant and that any other questions should be referred to the FBI.

Charles Grady, a spokesman for the FBI’s New Haven Division, said early Thursday afternoon that he could not comment on the operation.

Foley said he announced the drug operations on Twitter to allay any fear in the affected communities that residents are in danger. The sight of heavily armed police and military-style vehicles in a neighborhood can be disturbing, he said.

“When a law enforcement agency executes an operation in a neighborhood, including SWAT assets, the community feels as though they are under siege and possibly in danger,” he said. “I feel it’s our responsibility to quell concerns as soon as possible without risking the operation safety and success.”

Courant Staff Writer Edmund Mahony contributed to this story.

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