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Stunned New Haven man may be headed back to prison

HAMDEN - A New Haven man could soon be headed back to prison despite having had no run ins with the law since he was released in 2006.

And his attorney says, in his 21 years practicing in the federal system, he's never seen anything like this case.

From 2003 to 2006, Demetrius Anderson, 43, was imprisoned in Cheshire. But, until last week, he never imagined his next home could be a federal prison in Pennsylvania.

Last Wednesday, Anderson said he was shocked."I was getting ready for work," he recalled. "Could you imagine eight marshals, agents, banging on your door."

He was under arrest for failure to serve a 16 month federal sentence in Pennsylvania.

"In federal court, out of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, he was convicted of passing counterfeit currency," said Attorney Michael Dolan, Anderson's Hamden based attorney. That was in 2003, the same year Anderson was arrested in New Haven.

"In Connecticut, they were identity theft crimes," Dolan said.

Anderson served three years for the Connecticut crimes and thought his 16 month federal sentence was being served concurrently because, in 2006, when his Connecticut sentence was served, he was released to probation. But, last week, Anderson learned he was not done with the law.

Federal officials in Philadelphia claimed that they had lodged a detainer with the State of Connecticut, which, Pennsylvania asserts, was supposed to hand Anderson over to them to serve his 16 months back in 2006.

So why didn't Pennsylvania follow through 13 years ago? Dolan has no answer.

"It’s just so much stuff in my head," Anderson said Thursday afternoon. "It’s still the unthinkable. It’s just like a bad nightmare that I can’t wake up from."

Anderson, who says he's lost 15 pounds since being arrested last Wednesday, had not been in trouble with the law since his release 13 yeas ago. He has two jobs, close friendships with folks he attends church with and, he says, he has proven he is rehabilitated.

"We are preparing a commutation request and asked the President (Donald J. Trump) to commute his sentence," Dolan said.

Demetrius Anderson is due to appear in federal court in Philadelphia next Thursday, April 4, at which point he could be sent back to prison.

"This is a modern day Les Miserables," Dolan said.

The U.S. Marshals Service, in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, says they learned of Anderson's case and other outstanding sentences during a routine audit.

The prospect of prison is yet another setback for Anderson, who was forced to face true tragedy just a couple of years ago. His younger brother was convicted of murdering their parents and sister in Virginia.

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