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New Haven Man Sentenced to More Than Five Years in Prison for Role in Heroin Trafficking Ring

JAN 22 (NEW HAVEN, Conn.) - John J. Arvanitis, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England and Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that Nelson Rios, also known as “Pito,” 37, of New Haven, was sentenced yesterday by Senior U.S. District Judge Ellen Bree Burns in New Haven to 63 months of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release, for his role in a heroin trafficking ring.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Rios and more than one hundred other individuals were charged as a result of “Operation Bloodline,” a joint law enforcement investigation targeting narcotics trafficking and gang violence in the Dwight-Kensington and Fair Haven sections of New Haven.  Led by the DEA New Haven Task Force and the New Haven and Hamden Police Departments, the year-long investigation included the use of court-authorized wiretaps on numerous telephones, extensive physical surveillance, controlled purchases of narcotics, execution of search warrants, and seizures of narcotics and firearms.  The investigation revealed that Rios assisted a co-defendant’s heroin trafficking operation by helping to package heroin into bundles for street-level distribution, testing the quality of the heroin and distributing the drug to customers.

Rios was arrested on May 17, 2012.  On August 14, 2013, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, 100 grams or more of heroin.  He is currently detained.

This matter is being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Haven Task Force, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the New Haven, Hamden, West Haven, North Haven, Branford, Ansonia and Meriden Police Departments.  The United States Marshals Service, the Connecticut State Police, the Connecticut Department of Correction, Parole and Community Services and the Milford, Hartford, New Britain, North Branford and Stratford Police Departments have provided valuable assistance to the investigation.

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