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Meriden Cocaine Trafficker Sentenced to 20 Years in Federal Prison

NOV 08 (NEW HAVEN, Conn.) - John J. Arvanitis, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for New England and David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that Armando Cardona, 71, of Meriden, Conn., was sentenced today by Senior United States District Judge Alfred V. Covello in Hartford to 240 months of imprisonment, followed by 10 years of supervised release, for trafficking cocaine.

On June 20, 2012, a jury found Cardona guilty of one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, and one count of possession with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. According to the evidence presented during the trial, on December 10, 2009, Arkansas State Police seized approximately 30 kilograms of cocaine that was being delivered from Phoenix, Ariz. to Meriden. The DEA then conducted a controlled delivery of the cocaine in Meriden. On December 12, 2009, Cardona arranged by telephone for the delivery of the cocaine, and then had an associate accept delivery of the cocaine at a predetermined location in Meriden. Cardona was arrested shortly thereafter at his Bradley Road residence. A subsequent search of his residence resulted in the seizure of approximately $372,000.

The investigation revealed that Cardona had agreed to pay a drug courier $30,000 to transport the cocaine from Arizona to Connecticut. The investigation further revealed that Cardona had trafficked an additional 30 kilograms of cocaine between October and December 2009.

Cardona has a lengthy criminal history. In 1973, he committed a murder and was subsequently convicted in New York and sentenced to a term of incarceration of 25 years to life. In 1987, while incarcerated, he stabbed another inmate with a knife and received an 18 to 36-month consecutive sentence. In 1990, he was convicted in federal court of a cocaine distribution charge after he was discovered arranging kilogram-quantity cocaine deals from prison.

Cardona has been detained since his arrest on December 12, 2009.

This case was investigated by the Arkansas State Police, the Pope County (Ark.) District Attorney’s Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration in New Haven and Little Rock, and the Meriden Police Department. The DEA Task Force in New Haven includes officers from the New Haven, West Haven, Meriden, Ansonia, Hamden and Branford Police Departments.


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