DEA Task Force Investigation Disrupts Danbury Crack Cocaine
MAY 05 -- Steven W. Derr, 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 14 individuals have been arrested on federal Criminal Complaints alleging various narcotics trafficking offenses. The charges are the result of a six-month investigation conducted by a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force, in cooperation with the Danbury Police Special Investigations Division, into the distribution of crack cocaine in and around Danbury.
On Friday, May 1, AARON THOMPSON, also known as “A” and “A-Plus,” 35, and his wife, SHURIKA ROSADO, 36, of Ives Court in Bridgeport, were arrested in the Bronx, New York, while allegedly engaging in a drug transaction with RAUL FABIAN, also known as “Robert,” and his wife, QUENIDA ANDELIZ of 97th Street, Ozone Park, New York. FABIAN and ANDELIZ also were arrested at that time. After the arrests, law enforcement agents and officers executed several search warrants at locations in Bridgeport and Danbury, Connecticut, and in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens, New York. The arrests and searches resulted in the seizure of more than one-half kilogram of cocaine, several thousand dollars in cash, three vehicles (including one with a hidden compartment typically used for transporting narcotics) and a firearm. Each of the four defendants arrested on Friday is detained on federal narcotics trafficking charges, including conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base (“crack cocaine”) and 500 grams or more of cocaine.
THOMPSON is alleged to have headed a crack cocaine distribution ring in and around Danbury that served dozens of customers. The investigation, which included controlled purchases of narcotics and court-authorized wiretaps over several telephones, revealed that THOMPSON and ROSADO obtained large quantities of cocaine from FABIAN and ANDELIZ on a weekly basis. THOMPSON and ROSADO are alleged to have converted, or “cooked,” the powder cocaine into crack cocaine, and employed other individuals to distribute the crack to customers. The alleged distributors include JOSEPH FONSECA, 46, of Town Hill Avenue, Danbury; RONNIE SCOTT, 37, of Irving Place, Danbury; CAROL THOMPSON, also known as “Lovie,” 58, of Irving Place, Danbury; JOHN CIPOLLA, 43, of Beaverbrook Road, Danbury; ANGELO LEONE, also known as “AJ,” 37, of Red Cedar Drive, New Milford, and RONNIE PRIAR, 27, of Bank Street, New Milford.
THOMPSON is alleged to have overseen multiple “crack houses” in Danbury, where customers could buy and use crack and heroin, which were run by other members of his organization, including JAMES CEPERLEY, 45, of Triangle Street, Danbury; CAROL ANN GLODEY, 47, of Park Place, Danbury, and SUE GAWEL, 54, of Town Hill Avenue, Danbury. KAREN STANZIONE, 50, of South Street, Danbury, also is alleged to have assisted THOMPSON, FONSECA and other members of THOMPSON’s organization with narcotics trafficking activities.
Earlier today, Task Force agents and officers arrested FONSECA, SCOTT, CAROL THOMPSON, CIPOLLA, LEONE, PRIAR, CEPERLEY, GLODEY, GAWEL, and STANZIONE on various federal narcotics trafficking charges. These defendants appeared before United States Magistrate Judge William I. Garfinkel in Bridgeport and are detained pending bond hearings that will occur later this week and next week.
“I want to credit the work of the DEA, all of the Task Force participants, and the Danbury Police, whose efforts have helped to disrupt this significant crack cocaine distribution operation,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Dannehy.
Acting U.S. Attorney Dannehy stated that the investigation is ongoing.
“Today, members of a drug trafficking organization learned a valuable lesson: Our communities are not open-air drug markets. Deal drugs here and you get arrested,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Derr. “This investigation epitomizes cooperative law enforcement and the successes that this cooperation yields.”
In addition to the federal arrests, several other individuals were arrested today on state drug charges. These cases will be prosecuted by the Danbury State’s Attorney.
“We appreciate the cooperative efforts of all of the law enforcement involved in this operation, which we expect will improve the quality of life in several of Danbury’s neighborhoods,” stated Detective Captain Mitchell Weston of the Danbury Police Department.
Acting U.S. Attorney Dannehy stressed that a Complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Each defendant is entitled to have this matter presented to a grand jury and, in the event an indictment is returned, he or she is entitled to a trial at which it will be the Government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
This matter was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force – which includes representatives from the Greenwich, Stamford, Norwalk, Stratford and Bridgeport Police Departments – in cooperation with the Danbury Police Special Investigations Division. The New Milford Police Department also assisted in the investigation.