News Release
For Immediate Release:
May 21, 2009
Contact: Special Agent Tony Pettigrew
Number: 617-557-2138

Hartford Man Charged with Crack Distribution, Illegal
Ammunition Possession

MAY 21 -- 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, today announced that a federal grand jury in Hartford has returned an Indictment charging ARMANDO SOLER, also known as “Jose Gonzalez,” 35, of Hartford, with one count of conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base (“crack cocaine”); one count of possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, five grams or more of cocaine base; and one count of possession of ammunition by a previously convicted felon.  The Indictment was returned on May 13, 2009.

The Indictment alleges that, in November 2008, SOLER conspired to distribute more than 50 grams of crack cocaine and, on November 20, 2008, he distributed more than five grams of crack cocaine.  The Indictment further alleges that, on November 20, 2008, SOLER possessed multiple rounds of ammunition.

The Indictment alleges that, prior to November 20, 2008, SOLER had been convicted of multiple felony offenses, including escape in the first degree, sale of hallucinogens or narcotics (twice), carrying a dangerous weapon, and assault on an officer.

It is a violation of federal law for a person previously convicted of a felony offense to possess a firearm or ammunition that has moved in interstate or foreign commerce.

If convicted, SOLER faces a maximum term of life imprisonment and a fine of up to $4 million for the drug charges.  He also faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a fine of up to $250,000 for the ammunition charge.

SOLER was arrested on May 17, 2009.  He is detained pending a detention hearing that has been scheduled for May 21, 2009.

Acting U.S. Attorney Dannehy stressed that an indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.  The defendant is entitled to a fair trial at which it is the Government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Hartford Police Department.