Bridgeport Jury Finds Three Men Guilty of Involvement in Danbury
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 Bridgeport jury has found ARCADIO RAMIREZ, also known as “Peti,” age 41, formerly of 75 Weirfield Street, Brooklyn, New York; JOSE LUIS RODRIGUEZ, also known as “Jose Luis,” age 24, formerly of 261 Crescent Street, Brooklyn, New York, and WARREN HAWKINS, age 35, formerly of 27 Crows Nest Lane, Unit 12D, Danbury, guilty of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute powder and crack cocaine. The trial before United States District Judge Stefan R. Underhill began on Wednesday, May 10. The jury returned its verdict on Thursday, May 24, after deliberating for one day.
The evidence at trial established through law enforcement and cooperating witnesses that Alex Luna, age 25, formerly of 385 Main Street, Apt. C-12, in Danbury, led a large-scale cocaine and crack cocaine distribution ring for several years in the Danbury area. RAMIREZ, RODRIGUEZ, and other individuals made frequent trips from New York to Danbury to deliver kilogram-sized quantities of cocaine to Luna and his associates. The trial evidence further revealed that when making these deliveries to Luna, RAMIREZ and RODRIGUEZ would travel in cars containing secret compartments that were designed to hold contraband, such as narcotics, to elude detection by law enforcement. Luna and his associates would also travel regularly to various meeting places in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Manhattan to pick up drugs from RAMIREZ and RODRIGUEZ. The evidence further established that once Luna received the drugs from RAMIREZ and RODRIGUEZ, Luna and his associates would go to various hotels in the Danbury area to process and package the cocaine for street sale.
At trial, RODRIGUEZ exercised his right to testify on his behalf and denied any knowledge of either the Luna drug organization or his involvement in the distribution of cocaine.
The trial evidence demonstrated that HAWKINS was a street-level seller of cocaine supplied by Luna and his associates. A court-authorized wiretap revealed that, in February 2005, HAWKINS used a telephone on at least four separate occasions to order cocaine from Luna. In two of these calls, HAWKINS made explicit references to his prospective customers for whom he was purchasing the cocaine.
This trial was the result of an intensive, joint investigation between the Drug Enforcement Administration in Bridgeport and the Danbury Police Department. On March 4, 2005, federal and local law enforcement officers arrested numerous Luna organization members, conducted searches of several residences in Connecticut and New York, and recovered large amounts of cocaine, drug-packaging materials, narcotics paraphernalia, and United States currency. To date, 24 individuals from the Danbury area and New York City have been charged and convicted with narcotics offenses as a result of the investigation.
Judge Underhill has scheduled sentencing for RAMIREZ, RODRIGUEZ and HAWKINS for August 11, 2006. At that time, RODRIGUEZ faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years, a maximum term of life and a fine of up to $4,000,000; RAMIREZ faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years, a maximum term of 40 years and a fine of up to $2,000,000. HAWKINS faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years and a fine of up to $2,000,000.
On March 14, 2006, Alex Luna pleaded guilty to federal narcotics and firearm charges. He is currently scheduled to be sentenced on June 13 at 3:00 p.m.
This matter was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Danbury Police Department.