News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 31, 2006

Cocaine Trafficker to Serve 7 Years in Federal Prison

June W. Stansbury, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration in New England and Kevin J. O’Connor, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that RAMON HERNANDEZ, age 47, of 135 Grey Rock Road, Bridgeport, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport to 84 months of imprisonment, followed by 10 years of supervised release, during which he must perform 500 hours of community service. On April 1, 2004, HERNANDEZ pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine.

On February 18, 2004, a federal grand jury returned three separate indictments charging 25 individuals with various narcotics offenses involving the distribution of multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine, “crack” cocaine and marijuana in Bridgeport and the surrounding area. The indictments were the result of an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (“OCDETF”) investigation dubbed “Operation Two Terrences,” which was spearheaded by the Drug Enforcement Administration in Bridgeport.

As detailed in court proceedings, beginning in the Spring 2003, the DEA Task Force began an investigation targeting the distributors of cocaine, crack and marijuana in and around the city of Bridgeport. The Task Force utilized information gathered from a variety of investigative techniques including information from confidential sources; controlled purchase of marijuana, cocaine and crack cocaine; video and physical surveillance; and extensive electronic surveillance.

From October 2003 through February 2004, the DEA Task Force obtained court-authorized wiretaps for several different telephones that allowed the Task Force to intercept the conversations of the defendants as they talked about their drug trafficking activities. As further revealed in court proceedings, many of the defendants spoke in a very cryptic manner or used a code that was designed to conceal the true nature of their conversations. For example, the defendants often referred to cocaine as either “food” or “girls,” and they frequently used the term “tickets” to mean money.

As the investigation neared its conclusion, the Task Force executed several search warrants that resulted in the seizure of additional evidence, including drug records, digital scales used for weighing narcotics, various types of drug paraphernalia, and significant quantities of cocaine, crack cocaine and marijuana. According to statements made in court during earlier proceedings and evidence introduced during the trial of this matter, the drug organization imported large quantities of cocaine from Puerto Rico. The cocaine was shipped via UPS, often secreted in legitimate merchandise like computers. The organization was responsible for the distribution of multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine on a weekly basis. HERNANDEZ worked as one of the distributors for the organization, transporting cocaine in and around Connecticut and New York.

Seized during the investigation were approximately eight kilograms of cocaine, nearly 300 grams of crack cocaine, several firearms and approximately $1 million in drug proceeds.

Of the 25 individuals charged in this matter, 23 have been convicted; two remain fugitives.

U.S. Attorney O’Connor commended the law enforcement agents and officers who conducted the investigation and praised their devoted efforts to identify, disrupt and dismantle this multi-kilogram cocaine and crack cocaine trafficking operation.

This matter was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force, which is located in Bridgeport and consists of DEA special agents, officers from the Bridgeport, Stratford, Easton, Fairfield, Norwalk, and Stamford police departments, and members of the Connecticut State Police.