News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 5, 2007

Three Plead Guilty In Bridgeport Drug Ring

FEB 5 -- (BOSTON) - 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 three individuals who participated in a Bridgeport-based cocaine and crack cocaine distribution ring pleaded guilty on Friday, February 2, 2007, before United States District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport. A trial in the matter was scheduled to begin on Friday.

LUIS ROBLES, also known as “Papo,” age 43, of 22 Evelyn Road, Derby, Connecticut. and RAUL REYES, also known as “Papa,” age 36, of 3275 Main Street, Apartment 201, Bridgeport, each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, five kilograms or more of cocaine. MICHAEL HARDING, age 31, formerly of 89A Karen Street, Bridgeport, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, a quantity of cocaine.

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 located at 1357 Barnum Avenue in Bridgeport. ROBLES 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 to other dealers, including REYES and HARDING.

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

ROBLES and REYES were arrested on April 19, 2006 by DEA HIDTA Task Force members. In connection with the 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 500 grams of crack, one loaded semi-automatic handgun that was found in a closet in ROBLES’ residence, one bulletproof vest, six automobiles, and more than $125,000 in United States currency.

In pleading guilty, ROBLES also admitted that he attempted to obstruct justice by threatening witnesses involved in this investigation.

The three defendants are scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Underhill on May 3, 2007. ROBLES and REYES each face a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a maximum term of life. HARDING faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years.

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.