News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 13, 2006

Three Indiviuals Involved In Willimantic Drug Trafficking Ring Are Sentenced

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, today announced that Senior United States District Judge Alfred V. Covello has sentenced three individuals in Hartford federal court for their involvement in a narcotics trafficking ring that was responsible for the distribution of a substantial amount of heroin and other drugs in and around Willimantic, Connecticut.

Today, Judge Covello sentenced JORGE AGUILAR, age 22 (DOB 8/13/83), a citizen of Mexico formerly residing at 517 North Street, Willimantic, to approximately seven months of imprisonment, time served, followed by three years of supervised release. On February 21, 2006, JORGE AGUILAR pleaded guilty to conspiring to possess with intent to distribute cocaine. JORGE AGUILAR has been detained since his arrest on September 8, 2006. At the conclusion of today’s sentencing, JORGE AGUILAR was transferred to the custody of U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services and he will be deported to Mexico.

On Wednesday, April 12, Judge Covello sentenced, DANNY COLON, also known as “Tato,” age 30 (DOB 7/28/75), of 19 Pleasant Street, Willimantic to 21 months of imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release. On November 23, 2005, COLON pleaded guilty to conspiring to possess with intent to distribute heroin.

Also on Wednesday, April 12, Judge Covello sentenced MARTHA AGUILAR, age 45 (DOB 10/12/60), of 64 Elm Street, Willimantic, to three years of probation, the first six months of which she must spend confined to her home. On November 10, 2005, MARTHA AGUILAR pleaded guilty to using a telephone to facilitate the commission of a narcotics trafficking felony. At that time, MARTHA AGUILAR admitted that she engaged in telephone conversations in which she agreed to deliver a quantity of heroin to another individual’s drug customer.

These charges stem from an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (“OCDETF”) investigation dubbed “Operation SAPO,” which began in late 2004 and was spearheaded by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. On August 10, 2005, a federal grand jury sitting in Hartford returned and 18-count indictment charging 23 individuals with various narcotics offenses, primarily related to the distribution of heroin. According to statements made in court proceedings, a court-authorized wiretap revealed that Jose Del Los Santos Rubio Betancurth of Hartford and Juan Carlos Velez of New Britain were supplying an individual in Willimantic with approximately a half kilogram of heroin on a monthly basis for distribution in and around Willimantic.

Searches at the conclusion of the four-month wiretap investigation resulted in the seizure of approximately 2 kilograms of cocaine, 350 grams of heroin, 400 grams of methamphetamine, two handguns and $14,000 in cash.

BETANCURTH and VELEZ have each pleaded guilty to heroin trafficking charges and await sentencing.

Willimantic is a Department of Justice recognized and funded Weed and Seed site. Weed and Seed is a Department of Justice strategy that aims to prevent, control, and reduce violent crime, drug abuse, and gang activity in targeted high-crime neighborhoods across the country. Law enforcement agencies and prosecutors cooperate in “weeding out” criminals who participate in violent crime and drug abuse, attempting to prevent their return to the targeted area. “Seeding” brings human services to the area, encompassing prevention, intervention, treatment, and neighborhood revitalization.

U.S. Attorney O’Connor encouraged individuals in the Willimantic area who believe they have a drug dependency to seek help for their problem by calling the “New Perceptions Program” in Willimantic at (860) 450-0151, and in Danielson at (860) 779-5852.

This investigation was a collaborative effort of the Drug Enforcement Administration Hartford Resident Office, which included members of the Hartford, East Hartford, Southington, Manchester and West Hartford police departments, the Willimantic Police Department, the Connecticut State Police, Massachusetts State Police, the Southbridge, Massachusetts police department, the DEA Worcester, Massachusetts Resident Office, the State’s Attorney’s Office for the Judicial District of Windham and the United States Attorney’s Office.

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