News Release
For Immediate Release:
Contact: Special Agent Tony Pettigrew
Phone: 617-557-2138

September 17, 2008

Heroin Dealer Sentenced to More Than Eight Years in Federal Prison

SEP 17 -- Kevin L. Lane, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England and Nora R. Dannehy, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that PEDRO JULIO VELASQUEZ, 34, of East Hartford, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Alvin W. Thompson in Hartford to 100 months of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release, for his involvement in a Hartford-based heroin distribution organization headed by Felix J. Cancel, Jr., also known as “Feilo” and “Gordo,” and Jose Juan Cancel, also known as “Minin” and “Mingo.”

According to documents filed with the Court and statements made in court, this matter stems from a 10-month investigation headed by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Connecticut State Police.  The investigation included the use of undercover agents, confidential informants, controlled purchases and court-authorized wiretaps on telephones known to be used by the Cancels.  During the wiretap phase of the investigation, the Cancel brothers participated in numerous, intercepted calls that pertained to narcotics trafficking.  The investigation revealed that the Cancels regularly obtained bulk quantities of heroin, principally from a New York source of supply.  The Cancel brothers and several co-conspirators would then process the bulk supplies of heroin by grinding it and mixing it with diluents, after which the heroin was packaged for re-distribution.  The Cancel organization packaged heroin in two forms: “Bundles,” a term commonly used in the heroin trade to refer to 10 small, single-dosage-unit bags of heroin tied or bundled together; and “Wheels,” a term used by the organization when referring to 50 grams of heroin pressed into a flat, cylindrical shape and heat-sealed in plastic.  The Cancels distributed the “bundles” and “wheels” of heroin, often on consignment, to mid-level dealers or street-level dealers affiliated with the organization, who in turn re-distributed the heroin to lower-level dealers or users.

VELASQUEZ was a street-level dealer for the Cancel organization.  Intercepted conversations between VELASQUEZ and Jose Juan Cancel revealed that VELASQUEZ was receiving shipments of up to 300 grams of heroin from Cancel on an approximately weekly basis.

Three hundred grams of heroin equates to about 15,000 single-dosage unit bags of the drug.

The Cancel organization operated at least two heroin “mills” in Hartford, one at 524-526 Franklin Avenue and the other at 2 Fraser Place, where it processed and packaged heroin for redistribution.  On February 9, 2007, Hartford police seized approximately two kilograms of heroin from an apartment located at 2 Fraser Place in Hartford.

The investigation revealed that the Cancel organization was responsible for the distribution of more than one kilogram of heroin on a weekly basis. One kilogram of heroin can produce approximately 50,000 single-dosage-unit bags, with an approximate street value of $500,000.

Felix Cancel, Jr. and Jose Juan Cancel currently are serving 20-year terms of imprisonment.

This matter was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Connecticut State Police and several local police departments that participate on a DEA Task Force.