States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
|February 19, 2010||
STRATFORD MAN SENTENCED TO NEARLY EIGHT YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR DEALING COCAINE
Nora R. Dannehy, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that ADRIAN RIVERA, also known as “Heff,” 25, of Ketchum Road, Stratford, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Janet C. Hall in Bridgeport to 92 months of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release, for his participation in a Bridgeport-based narcotics-trafficking ring. On November 4, 2009, RIVERA pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine.
This matter stems from “Operation G-Force,” a joint law enforcement investigation into Bridgeport-area narcotics trafficking headed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Safe Streets Task Force. The year-long investigation, which led to the federal prosecution of 46 individuals, included the use of court-authorized wiretaps; controlled purchases of cocaine, crack cocaine, and heroin; search and seizure warrants, and physical surveillance.
According to court documents and statements made in court, from approximately January 2002 to February 2009, George Sanchez headed a large-scale cocaine and crack cocaine distribution ring operating in Bridgeport. Using the U.S. Mail and other shipping services, Sanchez had, on average, two kilograms of cocaine shipped from Puerto Rico to various residences in Bridgeport each week. The cocaine was wrapped and secreted inside electronic devices such as VCRs, clothing, and other items. Once the packages were received in Bridgeport, Sanchez and his associates would process some of the cocaine into crack cocaine, and package the cocaine and crack cocaine for distribution to other narcotics traffickers in the Bridgeport area.
During this period, RIVERA was actively involved in distributing cocaine and crack cocaine with, among others, Sanchez and Lashawn Ruff, also known as “Shawny Rock.” At the time of his arrest in early 2009, RIVERA was generating substantial profits, much of which he used to purchase luxury vehicles and to gamble at illegal gambling establishments.
During today’s sentencing proceeding, Judge Hall noted that this federal conviction is RIVERA’s third felony conviction for illegal drug distribution in Bridgeport.
On September 25, 2009, Sanchez pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, and one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base (“crack cocaine”). On October 8, 2009, Ruff pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin. Both defendants await sentencing.
This matter was investigated by members of the FBI Safe Streets Task Force, which is composed of federal agents and state and local officers from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division, the Connecticut State Police Statewide Narcotics Task Force, and the Bridgeport, Stamford, Stratford, Fairfield, Trumbull and Norwalk Police Departments. This matter is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Hal Chen and S. Dave Vatti.
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