States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
|July 21, 2010||
NEW YORK HEROIN SUPPLIER PLEADS GUILTY FOLLOWING DEA WIRETAP INVESTIGATION
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that JUAN TORRES-MALDONADO, 60, formerly of Boynton Avenue in the Bronx, New York, pleaded guilty yesterday, July 20, before Senior United States District Judge Alfred V. Covello in Hartford to one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin.
According to court documents and statements made in court, in the fall of 2008, the New Haven DEA Task Force initiated “Operation King of the Hill,” an investigation into a heroin and crack cocaine trafficking organization headed by Juan Torres-Rios, TORRES-MALDONADO’s son, that was operating in New Haven. The investigation included controlled purchases of narcotics, physical surveillance and the use of court-authorized wiretaps on wireless phones known to be used by Torres-Rios and two members of his drug trafficking organization. During the wiretap phase of the investigation, DEA Task Force agents monitored thousands of calls that the Government has alleged pertained to narcotics trafficking.
The investigation revealed that the Torres-Rios organization controlled heroin distribution in the “Hill” section of New Haven, particularly Hurlburt Street, where Torres-Rios resided. The organization regularly obtained bulk quantities of pre-packaged “bundles” of heroin, principally from a New York source-of-supply. The heroin, and also crack cocaine, was distributed through a network of mid-level dealers. “Bundles” are 10, single-dose bags of heroin tied or “bundled” together. Each bag of heroin was stamped with one of several logos or brand names that were associated with the Torres-Rios organization, including “Turbo,” “Hummer,” “Diamond Cut,” and “White Castle.”
In a call intercepted on December 15, 2008, TORRES-MALDONADO and Torres-Rios argued about a $6,000 drug payment that Torres-Rios owed to TORRES-MALDONADO in connection with 100 grams of heroin that TORRES-MALDONADO had supplied.
Judge Covello has scheduled sentencing for October 11, 2010, at which time TORRES-MALDONADO faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years and a fine of up to $1 million.
TORRES-MALDONADO was on probation at the time he committed the offense.
Twenty individuals, including TORRES-MALDONADO, have been charged as a result of the investigation. All 20 defendants have pleaded guilty
This matter was investigated by the New Haven Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, including DEA agents and officers from the New Haven, West Haven, Meriden, Shelton, Hamden, Branford and Ansonia Police Departments. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Peter D. Markle and Patrick F. Caruso of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
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