States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
|April 23, 2010||
BRIDGEPORT MEN SENTENCED TO LENGTHY FEDERAL PRISON TERMS FOR PARTICIPATING IN DRUG TRAFFICKING RING
Nora R. Dannehy, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that EDDIE PAGAN, 31, of Hawley Avenue in Bridgeport and GREGORY CRUZ, 34, of Mountain Grove Street in Bridgeport, were sentenced today by United States District Judge Janet C. Hall in Bridgeport to 162 months and 120 months of imprisonment, respectively, followed by five years of supervised release, for their participation in a Bridgeport-based narcotics trafficking ring.
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.
The investigation revealed that both PAGAN and CRUZ were close associates of Sanchez and distributed large quantities of narcotics with him. In addition, CRUZ specialized in converting powder cocaine into crack cocaine for several members of the drug conspiracy.
PAGAN and CRUZ have had prior felony convictions for illegal narcotics distribution. PAGAN also has a prior conviction for illegal firearm possession, and he has committed multiple acts of violence involving firearms, including shootings in the P.T. Barnum Housing Project.
On November 10, 2009, PAGAN pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. On November 6, 2009, CRUZ pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base (“crack cocaine”).
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 crack cocaine. He awaits 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, 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 Dave Vatti.
U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE
Department of Justice
Project Safe Neighborhoods