News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 26, 2007

Willimantic Heroin Trafficker Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Prison

JUL 26 -- June W. Stansbury, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcemetn Administration in New England and Kevin J. O’Connor, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that ALFREDO AGUILAR, age 35, a citizen of Mexico last residing in Willimantic, Connecticut, was sentenced today by Senior United States District Judge Alfred V. Covello in Hartford to 120 months of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release. AGUILAR faces deportation to Mexico following service of his term of imprisonment. On April 19, 2006, AGUILAR pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin.

This matter stems 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. A court-authorized wiretap investigation of AGUILAR revealed that he operated an extensive heroin trafficking operation involving several other Willimantic-area residents. The investigation revealed that AGUILAR distributed approximately one-half kilogram of heroin on a monthly basis 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.

As a result of the investigation, 23 individuals were charged with various narcotics offenses, primarily related to the distribution of heroin. To date, 21 defendants have been convicted. Two individuals remain fugitives.

U.S. Attorney O’Connor noted that 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.

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 (MA) 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.