DARIEN, Conn. -- A person of interest in the 1981 shooting death of a Darien police officer has been indicted on unrelated federal drug and firearm charges, U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly announced Tuesday.
Anthony Sabato, 57, of West Haven was arrested in March along with Miguel Joel Roman, 25, of Hartford after an investigation by the FBI's New Haven Safe Streets Task Force, the West Haven Police Department and the Darien Police Department.
On Tuesday, a federal grand jury in New Haven returned an 11-count indictment charging the two with a number of drug and firearm charges.
The two were arrested after an undercover police officer purchased crack cocaine from Sabato and Roman between January and March, according to court documents. They also negotiated with the officer to buy a handgun from him, and arranged to sell him 2 ounces of crack cocaine at a price of $2,000 per ounce, according to court documents.
They were arrested after meeting at Sabato's West Haven home to complete the transactions.
Sabato has been publicly named by the Darien Police Department as a person of interest in the killing of Officer Kenneth Bateman in 1981. Bateman was shot to death while responding to a burglar alarm at the Duchess on Post Road. His death remains the only unsolved killing of a police officer in Connecticut's history.
Though Sabato was named a suspect in 2004, police have never been able to charge him with Bateman's murder. He has a long criminal history dating to the 1970s, including burglary, forgery, assault and attempting to purchase stolen firearms.
Among the charges in the indictment handed down Tuesday are: one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 280 grams or more of crack cocaine, two counts of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of 28 grams or more of crack cocaine, and four counts of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of crack cocaine. Sabato was also charged with one count of maintaining a drug-involved premises within 1,000 feet of a school, two counts of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of oxycodone, and one count of possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon.
The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant in Hartford and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracy Lee Dayton.
The FBI's New Haven Safe Streets Task Force includes personnel from the FBI, the West Haven Police Department, the New Haven Police Department, the Milford Police Department and the Connecticut Department of Correction.
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