News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 27, 2007

Two Admit Roles in Hartford Crack Cocaine Conspiracy

JUL 27 -- 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 MARTA RAMOS, age 45, of 447 Barbour Street, Hartford, and KARVASIK CALDWELL, also known as “Country,” age 43, of 32 Florence Street, Hartford, have each pleaded guilty to the charge of conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base (“crack cocaine”). Both guilty pleas were accepted on, Thursday, July 26, by United States District Judge Christopher F. Droney in Hartford.

The charges against RAMOS and CALDWELL stem from a six-month investigation by the Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes Task Force that included the use of a variety of investigative techniques including controlled purchases of crack cocaine, federal wiretaps over a two-month period, physical surveillance, and the execution of search and seizure warrants. The investigation followed an increase in violent crime in the North End section of Hartford and focused on drug trafficking activity and associated violence in the vicinity of Capen and Tolland Streets.

To date, this ongoing investigation has resulted in the indictment of 14 defendants on federal narcotics and firearms charges. Search and seizure warrants were executed during the investigation, leading to the seizure of seven firearms, significant quantities of powder cocaine and crack cocaine, narcotics paraphernalia, approximately $20,000 in cash, and six vehicles utilized in furtherance of drug trafficking activities.

According to documents filed with the Court and statements made in Court, RAMOS was intercepted on numerous occasions during the wiretap phase of the investigation negotiating the purchase and sale of crack cocaine. On March 27, 2007, law enforcement officers recovered quantities of crack cocaine, a firearm, numerous rounds of ammunition, and approximately $3,000 during execution of a search and seizure warrant of RAMOS’ residence.

According to documents filed with the Court and statements made in Court, CALDWELL also was intercepted during the wiretap phase of the investigation negotiating the sale of powder cocaine, which he was aware would be converted into crack cocaine and subsequently redistributed. On March 22, 2007, law enforcement officers arrested CALDWELL after a vehicle stop and recovered from his car a quantity of crack cocaine, approximately $13,000 in cash, and narcotics paraphernalia.

During the hearing, RAMOS and CALDWELL each acknowledged that the object of conspiracy to which they were pleading guilty was to distribute between 150 and 500 grams of crack cocaine. When RAMOS is sentenced on October 12, 2007, she 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. When CALDWELL is sentenced on October 12, 2007, he faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 20 years, a maximum term of life imprisonment, and a fine of up to $8,000,000. CALDWELL’s faces enhanced penalties base on his significant criminal history, which includes prior felony convictions for the possession and sale of narcotics.

U.S. Attorney O’Connor commended the investigation of this matter that was conducted by thethe Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Hartford Police Department, the Bloomfield Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the East Hartford Police Department, and the Mid-State Narcotics Task Force.