News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 8, 2007

DEA Task Force Investigation into Hartford Drug Trafficking Results in Charges Against 18 Individuals

JUN 8 -- June W. Stansbury, Special Agent in Charge of the Druge Enforcement Administration in New England and Kevin J. O’Connor, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and June W. Stansbury, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in New England, today announced that a federal grand jury in New Haven has returned an Indictment charging 17 individuals on various charges related to the distribution of heroin and cocaine in and around Hartford. The Indictment was returned on Tuesday, June 5. An eighteenth defendant has been charged separately.

According to documents filed with the Court and statements made in Court, in July 2006, a Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force initiated an investigation into the distribution of cocaine and heroin in Hartford. During the investigation, wiretap authorizations were obtained that allowed the interception of drug distribution related conversations being conducted over five different cellular telephones. Additionally, controlled purchases of both heroin and cocaine were made on multiple occasions.

The Indictment charges FRANCISCO RODRIGUEZ-LLORCA, also known as “Cuba,” “Franco,” “Frank” and “Papalote,” age 45, of 148 Gilman Street, Hartford, Connecticut; ANDRES BOLANOS, also known as “Papalote,” “Enano,” “Colombia” and “Pepin,” age 26, of 18-20 Mapleton Street, Hartford; EXGARDO TORRES, also known as “Choco” and “Chocolatina,” age 27, of 83 McKee Street, East Hartford, Connnecticut; ARGEMIRO VIRGEN, also known as “Doctor,” age 49, of 698 Farmington Avenue, West Hartford, Connecticut; ALAA M. AL JABER, also known as “Ali” and Alex, of Maine; SIXTO POLANCO, also known as “Adalberto Encarnacion,” “Manuel,” and “Luis Carrasquillo,” age 40, of Hartford; EDUARDO MARTINEZ-RUIZ, also known as “Puchi,” “Puchi” and “Cuba,” age 34, of 454 Wells Road, Wethersfield, Connecticut; LUIS RAMOS, also known as “Neo,” age 29, of 873 West Boulevard, Hartford; FRANCISCO COLON, also known as “Doctor,” age 47, of 29 Barker Street, Hartford; ALFREDO ALDEA, also known as “Cacique,” age 33, of 165 Hungerford Street, Hartford; ARCADIO SANTIAGO, also known as “Quiro,” age 57, of 873 West Boulevard, Hartford; KEVIN SOTO, age 24, of 215 Burritt Street, New Britain, Connecticut; JUAN FELIPE, also known as “Doctor,” “Professor” and “Andres Patino,” age 28, of Jackson Heights, New York; NORBELLY RODRIGUEZ, also known as “Norbey” and “Norbelly Diaz,” of 148 Gilman Street, Hartford; MANUEL DIAZ, also known as “Juan” and “Diablo,” age 46, of 53 Victoria Road, Hartford; JUAN SILVA-CARDOZA, age 40, of 160 Putnam Street, Hartford, and FIRST AND LAST NAME UNKNOWN, also known as “Cesar.”

On May 23 and 24, 2007, law enforcement officers arrested RODRIGUEZ-LLORCA, BOLANOS, TORRES, MARTINEZ-RUIZ, RAMOS, COLON, SANTIAGO, SOTO, FELIPE, RODRIGUEZ, DIAZ, and SILVA-CARDOZA.

During several searches conducted by federal agents at the time of the arrests, more than 100 grams of heroin and more than $77,000 in United States currency were seized, and will be held for forfeiture.

POLANCO, who is currently in state custody, also is awaiting trial in U.S. District Court in Hartford after being indicted in November 2006 on unrelated narcotics charges.

VIRGEN, AL JABER, ALDEA, and an individual identified only as “Cesar” have not been arrested and are currently being sought by law enforcement.

The Indictment charges each defendant, with the exception of SILVA-CARDOZA, with conspiracy to possess more than one kilogram of heroin with the intent to distribute. If convicted of this charge, each defendant faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years, a maximum term of life imprisonment and a fine of up to $4,000,000.

The Indictment also charges RODRIGUEZ-LLORCA, BOLANOS, and DIAZ, with conspiring to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, 500 grams or more of cocaine. If convicted of this charge, each defendant 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.

In addition to the conspiracy charges, RODRIGUEZ-LLORCA is charged with 13 counts of either possessing with the intent to distribute, or with distribution of, either heroin or cocaine; DIAZ is charged with four counts of distribution of either heroin and cocaine; BOLANOS is charged with three counts of distribution of heroin, and RODRIGUEZ is charged with one count of possession of heroin with intent to distribute. Each of these counts carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years and a fine of up to $1,000,000.

The Indictment further charges RODRIGUEZ-LLORCA with two counts of possessing more than 100 grams of heroin with the intent to distribute, and RAMOS and RODRIGUEZ each with one count of this offense. If convicted of this charge, each defendant 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.

Finally, each defendant has been charged with one or more counts of using cellular telephones to commit and carry out the drug trafficking activities charged in the Indictment. This offense carries a maximum term of imprisonment of four years and a fine of up to $250,000.

ARTAN ISUFAJ, also known as “Tony,” age 26, of 118 Governor Street, East Hartford, also was arrested on May 23. He has been charged separately with possession with intent to distribute cocaine, and with using a cellular telephone to commit and carry out drug trafficking activities.

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

This case is being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Agency Hartford Resident Office Task Force, which includes officers from the Hartford Police Department, Manchester Police Department, East Hartford Police Department, Southington Police Department, and the Windsor Locks Police Department.