News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 4, 2006

16 Indicted in Bridgeport Drug Ring

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 a federal grand jury sitting in New Haven has returned 27-count Indictment charging 16 individuals for their alleged involvement in a Bridgeport-based cocaine and crack cocaine distribution ring. The Indictment was returned yesterday, May 3.

The Indictment charges LUIS ROBLES, also known as “Papo,” age 42 (DOB 10/16/63), of 22 Evelyn Road, Derby; RAUL REYES, also known as “Papa,” age 35 (DOB 12/11/70), of 3275 Main Street, Apartment 201, Bridgeport; ABRAHAM PABON, also known as “Lou,” age 26 (DOB 5/12/79), of 280 Beechmont, Bridgeport; WALTER HARRISON, age 34 (DOB 11/6/71), of 106A Chestnut St., Bridgeport; RYAN PERSAD, age 44 (DOB 2/3/62), of 39 Horton Hill Road, Unit 10B, Bridgeport; ROBINDRANATH PERSAD, age 42 (DOB 8/12/63), of 100 Lincoln Street, Bridgeport; CARLOS BAEZ, of the Bronx, New York; SOCRATES LANDESTOY, age and address unknown; ZULMA MATOS, age 40 (DOB 9/2/60), of 1374 Pembroke Street, Bridgeport; JOSE VARGAS, also known as “Andres,” age 30 (DOB 1/24/76), of 169 Park Street, Bridgeport; IGNACIO VASQUEZ, also known as “Chino,” age 31 (DOB 10/29/74), of 378 Berkshire Avenue, Bridgeport; BENNY RIVERA, age 42 (DOB 3/23/64), of Bridgeport; MICHAEL HARDING, formerly of 89A Karen Street, Bridgeport; and FONZIE DAVIS, age 37 (DOB 3/30/69) of West Haven, Connecticut, with conspiring to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, five kilograms or more of cocaine. The Indictment also charges WILFREDO MARTINEZ, also known as “Nene” or “Chelo,” age 49 (DOB 6/15/56), of 1054 Hancock Street, Bridgeport, with conspiring to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, 500 grams or more of cocaine, and ISABEL PAGAN, also known as “Moreno,” age 30 (DOB 1/30/76), of 76 Palisade Avenue, Bridgeport, with possession with intent to distribute five grams or more of cocaine base (“crack cocaine”).

The Indictment also charges REYES, PABON, HARRISON, RYAN PERSAD, ROBINDRANATH PERSAD, MATOS, VARGAS and VASQUEZ with additional cocaine and crack distribution offenses, and ROBLES with possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon.

According to documents filed with the Court and statements made in court, beginning in mid-2005, the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Bridgeport High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force initiated an investigation into suspected distribution of cocaine in the Bridgeport area by ROBLES and his associates. The investigation established that the ring primarily operated out of East End Auto, an auto shop owned by ROBLES and PABON located at 1357 Barnum Avenue in Bridgeport. ROBLES and his co-defendants are alleged to have obtained cocaine from a source of supply located in the New York metropolitan area. Typically, the cocaine was transported by automobile to the Bridgeport area to ROBLES or one of his associates, and then redistributed in and around Bridgeport.

The investigation employed court-authorized wiretaps, court-authorized audio and video surveillance and several controlled purchases of cocaine.

ROBLES, REYES, PABON, HARRISON, RYAN PERSAD and ROBINDRANATH PERSAD were arrested on April 19 by DEA HIDTA Task Force members. MARTINEZ was arrested on April 26 and BAEZ was arrested in New York on May 1. This morning, the Task Force arrested MATOS, VARGAS, VASQUEZ, RIVERA, PAGAN and DAVIS. HARDING is currently in state custody. LANDESTOY is currently being sought by law enforcement. All defendants who have been arrested are currently detained.

In connection with the April 19 arrests, Task Force members conducted searches at 11 locations in Bridgeport, Derby and Naugatuck, Connecticut, and seized more than 1.5 kilograms of cocaine, more than 250 grams of crack, one semi-automatic handgun, one bulletproof vest, six automobiles, and more than $125,000 in United States currency.

If convicted, ROBLES, REYES, PABON, HARRISON, MARTINEZ, RYAN PERSAD ROBINDRANATH PERSAD, BAEZ, LANDESTOY, RIVERA, HARDING and DAVIS face a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a maximum term of life. MATOS, VARGAS, VASQUEZ and PAGAN face a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years and a maximum term of life.

U.S. Attorney O’Connor stressed that an indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Each defendant is entitled to a fair trial at which it is the Government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Bridgeport High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force. Members of the Ansonia, Bridgeport, Derby, Easton, Greenwich, New Canaan, Newtown, Norwalk, Stamford, Stratford and West Haven Police Departments participated in the investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys H. Gordon Hall and James Smart.