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News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 10, 2005

Federal Indictment Charges 23 For Alleged Involvement
in Willimantic-Area Drug Conspiracy Case
DEA-led ‘Operation SAPO’ targets flow of heroin into eastern Connecticut

June W. Stansbury, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration in New England and Kevin J. O’Connor, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that a federal grand jury sitting in Hartford has returned an 18-count Indictment charging 23 individuals with various narcotics offenses related, primarily, to the distribution of heroin in and around Willimantic, Connecticut. The Indictment, returned on August 10, 2005, was ordered unsealed today by Senior United States District Judge Alfred V. Covello in Hartford as part of a guilty plea proceeding of one of the defendants charged in this matter.

The charges in the Indictment stem from an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (“OCDETF”) investigation dubbed “Operation SAPO,” which was spearheaded by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration Hartford Resident Office. As alleged during court proceedings, beginning in the fall of 2004, the DEA began an investigation of LUIS CAMACHO, a drug trafficker operating in Southbridge, Massachusetts. Following several controlled purchases of narcotics, including cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine, from CAMACHO, a wiretap investigation of CAMACHO began in late March 2005. During the course of that wiretap, it was quickly learned that CAMACHO’s heroin supplier was ALFREDO AGUILAR of Willimantic. A wiretap investigation of AGUILAR that followed revealed that he operated an extensive heroin trafficking operation involving several other Willimantic-area residents, and that AGUILAR was supplied with approximately one-half of one kilogram of heroin on a monthly basis by JOSE DEL LOS SANTOS RUBIO BETANCURTH and JUAN CARLOS VELEZ, both residents of Hartford, which AGUILAR and others redistributed.

The wiretap investigation lasted approximately four months and, at its conclusion, law enforcement officers immediately arrested seven individuals and executed six search warrants during which agents seized approximately 350 grams of heroin, 150 grams of methamphetamine, and $14,000 in cash. Since the return of the Indictment, an additional 14 individuals have been arrested. In addition to the 23 defendants charged in the indictment, the government is seeking forfeiture of narcotics proceeds and items used to facilitate narcotics trafficking, including the $14,000 in cash seized and a Nissan Pathfinder utilized by ALFREDO AGUILAR.

On August 2, 2005, a federal grand jury sitting in New Haven returned a 10-count Indictment charging 25 individuals with various narcotics offenses involving the distribution of heroin into and around Willimantic. Those charges stem from an OCDETF investigation dubbed “Operation WilliRiders,” which was spearheaded by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Hartford.

The Indictment that resulted from DEA’s “Operation SAPO” charges the following 17 individuals with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of heroin:

JUAN CARLOS VELEZ, a.k.a. “Chino” and “Don Tingo” (age 30, D.O.B. 12/8/75)
459 New Britain Avenue, Hartford, Connecticut

ALEJANDRO DELGADO, a.k.a. “Carlos Ramerez” (age 26, D.O.B. 2/7/79)
3218 S.W. Savora Boulevard, Port Lucie, Florida

JOSE DEL LOS SANTOS RUBIO BETANCURTH, a.k.a. “Colombia” and “Colombiano” (age 30, D.O.B. 3/25/75)
90 Madison Avenue, Hartford

ALFREDO AGUILAR (age 34, D.O.B. 12/8/71)
64 Elm Street, Willimantic, Connecticut

CARLOS ACOSTA (age 55, D.O.B. 12/28/50)
2249 Stillwell Avenue, Brooklyn, New York

JORGE AGUILAR (age 22, D.O.B. 8/13/83)
517 North Street, Willimantic

LEONARDO AGUILAR (age 27, D.O.B. 4/12/78)
132 Ives Street, Willimantic

LUIS BRAVO-PEREZ (age 36, D.O.B. 6/13/69)
4 Gem Drive, Willimantic

DANNY COLON, a.k.a. “Tato” (age 30, D.O.B. 7/28/75)
219 Pleasant Street, Willimantic

JOEL DIAZ, a.k.a. “El Viejo” (age 49, D.O.B. 5/25/56)
90 Brook Street, Willimantic

LUIS CAMACHO, a.k.a. “Jorge Echeverria” and “Mexico” (age 32, D.O.B. 4/23/73)
104 Worcester Street, Southbridge, Massachusetts

CARLOS AMILCAR ORTIZ (age 51, D.O.B. 8/23/54)
1907 Broad Street, Hartford

TOMAS ORTIZ, a.k.a. “Tatito” (age 43, D.O.B. 10/7/62)
118 Cameo Drive, Willimantic

MICHAEL STOKES (age 46, D.O.B. 10/23/59)
431 Pond Road, North Franklin, Connecticut

JOHN TIRADO-DIAZ, a.k.a. “Bebe” and “El Nene” (age 25, D.O.B. 2/5/80)
Pond Road, North Franklin
SAMMY HAYES (referred to in the Indictment as SAMMY LNU) (age 48, D.O.B. 8/5/57)
77 Faith Road, Newington, Connecticut

WILFREDO ROSARIO (referred to in the Indictment as WILLIE LNU) (age 45, D.O.B. 8/19/60)
65 Colonial Road, Hartford

As to JUAN CARLOS VELEZ, ALEJANDRO DELGADO, JOSE DEL LOS SANTOS RUBIO BETANCURTH, ALFREDO AGUILAR and LUIS BRAVO-PEREZ, the Indictment charges that the conspiracy involved one kilogram or more of heroin. If convicted of this conspiracy charge, each defendant faces a maximum term of life imprisonment, a mandatory minimum term of 10 years and a maximum fine of $4 million.

As to CARLOS AMILCAR ORTIZ, the Indictment charges that the conspiracy involved one hundred grams or more of heroin. If convicted of this conspiracy charge, the defendant faces a maximum term of 40 years of imprisonment, a mandatory minimum term of five years and a maximum fine of $2 million.

As to CARLOS ACOSTA, JORGE AGUILAR, LEONARDO AGUILAR, LUIS CAMACHO, DANNY COLON, JOEL DIAZ, TOMAS ORTIZ, MICHAEL STOKES, JOHN TIRADO-DIAZ, SAMMY HAYES and WILFREDO ROSARIO, the Indictment charges that the conspiracy involved an unspecified quantity of heroin. If convicted of this conspiracy charge, each defendant faces a maximum term of 20 years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $1 million.

The Indictment sets forth additional charges. It charges ALFREDO AGUILAR, LEONARDO AGUILAR, LUIS CAMACHO and ELIAS LOPEZ, JR., age 24, (D.O.B. 7/14/81), of 1495 Peach Haven Road, Clemmons, North Carolina, with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of five grams or more of methamphetamine and 50 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable quantity of methamphetamine. If convicted of this charge, each defendant faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 40 years, a mandatory minimum term of five years and a fine of up to $1 million.

The Indictment charges ALEJANDRO DELGADO with possession with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin. If convicted of this charge, DELGADO faces a maximum term of 40 years of imprisonment, a mandatory minimum term of five years and a fine of up to $2 million.

The Indictment charges LUIS CAMACHO and LUIS BRAVO-PEREZ with possession with intent to distribute and distribution of heroin. If convicted of this charge, CAMACHO and BRAVO-PEREZ each face a maximum term of 20 years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $1 million.

The Indictment charges ALFREDO AGUILAR with six counts of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of heroin. AGUILAR faces a maximum term of 20 years imprisonment and $1 million fine on each of these six counts.

The Indictment also charges LEONARDO AGUILAR with one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine. Each of these charges is punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years and a fine of up to $1 million.

Finally, the Indictment charges MARTHA AGUILAR, age 45, of 64 Elm Street, Willimantic; ALEX CONCEPCION, age 29, (D.O.B. 7/3/76), of 79 Spring Street, Willimantic; EDGAR CONCEPCION, age 25, (D.O.B. 5/1/79), of 79 Spring Street, Willimantic; ISAIL REYES, a.k.a. “Topo,” age 27, (D.O.B. 9/29/79), of Willimantic; and ROSALIE VELAZQUEZ, age 41, (D.O.B. 9/4/64), 159 Cameo Drive, Willimantic, with use of a telephone to facilitate commission of a drug trafficking felony. If convicted of this charge, each defendant faces a maximum term of imprisonment of four years and a fine of up to $250,000.

Today, MARTHA AGUILAR pleaded guilty before Judge Covello in Hartford to Count 14 of the Indictment, which charged her with using a telephone to facilitate the commission of a narcotics trafficking felony. According to statements made during the court proceeding, on June 12, 2005, MARTHA AGUILAR engaged in telephone conversations with another individual in which she agreed to deliver a quantity of heroin to one of his customers. MARTHA AGUILAR is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Covello on January 27, 2006.

Twenty-one of the 23 defendants named in the Indictment have been arrested. Twelve have been released with various bond conditions. JUAN CARLOS VELEZ, ALEJANDRO DELGADO, JOSE DEL LOS SANTOS RUBIO BETANCURTH, ALFREDO AGUILAR, JORGE AGUILAR, LUIS BRAVO-PEREZ and LUIS CAMACHO have been ordered detained. ALEX CONCEPCION is currently serving a state sentence on unrelated charges. ISAIL REYES is in federal custody in Florida on unrelated charges.

ELIAS LOPEZ, JR. and LEONARDO AGUILAR remain at large and are currently being sought by law enforcement.

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

Willimantic is a Department of Justice recognized and funded Weed and Seed site. Weed and Seed is a Department of Justice strategy that aims to prevent, control, and reduce violent crime, drug abuse, and gang activity in targeted high-crime neighborhoods across the country. Law enforcement agencies and prosecutors cooperate in “weeding out” criminals who participate in violent crime and drug abuse, attempting to prevent their return to the targeted area. “Seeding” brings human services to the area, encompassing prevention, intervention, treatment, and neighborhood revitalization.

U.S. Attorney O’Connor encouraged individuals in the Willimantic area who believe they have a drug dependency to seek help for their problem by calling the “New Perceptions Program” in Willimantic at (860) 450-0151, and in Danielson at (860) 779-5852.

This investigation is a collaborative effort of the Drug Enforcement Administration Hartford Resident Office, which included members of the Hartford, East Hartford, Southington, Manchester and West Hartford police departments, the Willimantic Police Department, the Connecticut State Police, Massachusetts State Police, the Southbridge, Massachusetts police department, the DEA Worcester, Massachusetts Resident Office, the State’s Attorney’s Office for the Judicial District of Windham and the United States Attorney’s Office. This matter is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Dave Vatti.

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