News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 4, 2007

Two Charged in Multi-State Drug Trafficking Ring Plead Guilty During Trial

DEC 4 -- 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 today that HECTOR SANTIAGO, also known as “Pito,” 32, of Hartford, and ANGEL SANTIAGO, also known as “Mambru,” 34, of Fall River, Massachusetts, pleaded guilty last week to federal narcotics charges during their trial in New Haven federal court last week. On November 27, during the second day of trial before Senior United States District Judge Peter C. Dorsey, ANGEL SANTIAGO pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine. On November 29, during the fourth day of trial, HECTOR SANTIAGO entered guilty pleas to one count of conspiracy to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin and one count of distribution of 100 grams or more of heroin.

On June 29, 2006, a federal grand jury in Hartford returned an Indictment charging ANGEL SANTIAGO and HECTOR SANTIAGO, who are not related, and 17 other individuals with various narcotics offenses. This matter stems from an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (“OCDETF”) investigation dubbed “Operation Ragdoll,” which was spearheaded by the Drug Enforcement Administration in Hartford. According to statements made in court, Luis Soto-Solivan ran a drug trafficking operation based in Fall River, Massachusetts, which supplied narcotics to various distributors in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, and Pennsylvania. Soto-Solivan and Domingo Guzman, of Bridgeport, were supplied with kilogram quantities of powder cocaine from various individuals in Puerto Rico. Both Soto-Solivan and Guzman received shipments of kilogram quantities of powder cocaine through the U.S. Mail. On June 1, 2006, law enforcement officers with the Drug Enforcement Administration and the United States Postal Inspection Service seized one of these packages destined for Soto-Solivan in Fall River and discovered two kilograms of powder cocaine. On June 15, 2006, these same officials seized a separate package destined for Guzman in Bridgeport and discovered an additional quantity of two kilograms of powder cocaine.

During his guilty plea proceeding, ANGEL SANTIAGO admitted that he regularly distributed quantities of cocaine that was supplied to him by Soto-Solivan. He also admitted that, between January 2005 and June 2006, he purchased and redistributed at least 500 grams of cocaine. In pleading guilty, HECTOR SANTIAGO admitted distributing approximately 101 grams of heroin to a customer on behalf of Soto-Solivan and another co-defendant.

ANGEL SANTIAGO and HECTOR SANTIAGO are scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Dorsey on February 15, 2008, at which time each defendant faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 40 years on each count of conviction.

Soto-Solivan pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine. On September 27, 2007, Judge Dorsey sentenced him to 262 months of imprisonment. GUZMAN has pleaded guilty to the same charge and awaits sentencing.

U.S. Attorney O’Connor commended the law enforcement agents and officers who conducted the investigation and praised their devoted efforts to identify, disrupt and dismantle this substantial narcotics trafficking operation.

This investigation is a collaborative effort of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the New Britain Police Department, and the Fall River (MA) Police Department.