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Suspect In Murder Of Darien Cop Gets 13 Years For Trafficking Crack

Anthony Sabato, seen here in a mug shot following an arrest for a 2010 assault in Wallingford, was named a suspect in the 1981 murder of a Darien police officer in 2004.
Anthony Sabato, seen here in a mug shot following an arrest for a 2010 assault in Wallingford, was named a suspect in the 1981 murder of a Darien police officer in 2004. Photo Credit: Wallingford Police Department

DARIEN, Conn. — The 57-year-old man who supplied the firearm used in the unsolved murder of a Darien police officer in 1981 was sentenced Wednesday to over 13 years in federal prison for trafficking crack cocaine.

Anthony Sabato, of West Haven, was sentenced Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant in Hartford to 165 months of in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney for Connecticut Deirdre M. Daly said in a statement.

In issuing the sentence, Bryant found that Sabato supplied the firearm used in the murder of Darien Police Officer Kenneth Bateman on May 31, 1981.

Sabato, a former Stamford resident, was publicly named a suspect in 2004 in the shooting death of Bateman.

According to court documents and statements made in court, from March 2013 to March 2015, Sabato conspired to distribute crack cocaine.

During the investigation, an undercover officer purchased crack from Sabato and his co-defendant, Miguel Joel Roman of Hartford. The investigation also found that Sabato was selling prescription narcotics.

Sabato and Roman were arrested March 24, 2015, after they sold 2 ounces of crack to the undercover officer for $4,000. A search of Sabato's residence turned up crack cocaine, powder cocaine, two digital drug scales, narcotics paraphernalia and 10 mobile phones.

Sabato has been detained since his arrest. On July 6, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 280 grams or more of cocaine base, or crack cocaine.

Sabato has been convicted 35 times since 1975, including state convictions for assault, larceny, burglary and narcotics offenses, and federal convictions for firearms, gambling, and fraud offenses.

On Nov. 12, Roman pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute cocaine base. He is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 10.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI’s New Haven Safe Streets Task Force, the West Haven Police Department and the Darien Police Department, which initiated the investigation and supplied undercover officers.

Officer Kenneth Bateman was shot to death while investigating a silent burglar alarm at Duchess on the Post Road.

“We are pleased with the sentence being what it was,” Darien Police Sgt. Jeremiah Marron told the Darien Times and said the department feels "gratification."

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