BRIDGEPORT - A West Haven man appeared in court Wednesday on federal drug and weapons charges in a case that is being watched closely by Darien police.

The FBI says Anthony Sabato, 57, was arrested Monday in his home following an investigation by the agency's New Haven Safe Streets Task Force and the West Haven and Darien police departments.

About a dozen members of the Darien Police Department were in attendance as Sabato appeared in Bridgeport federal court. Sabato is a pesron of interest in the murder of Darien Officer Ken Bateman more than 30 years ago. Sabato was never charged in connection with the case.

Police say Bateman was shot and killed after responding to a burglar alarm at the Duchess restaurant on Post Road in May 1981. The shooter evaded police and was never arrested.

The United States Department of Justice says Sabato has had prior federal convictions. He faces 40 years to life in prison if convicted of the drug and gun charges.