States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
|September 15, 2010||
BRANFORD MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO NARCOTICS DISTRIBUTION OFFENSES
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that ROBERTO J. RODRIGUEZ, also known as “Blanco,” 32, of Monticello Street, Branford, pleaded guilty yesterday, September 14, before United States District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport to one count of possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base (“crack”), and one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine.
This matter stems from an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation dubbed “Operation Brass Deal,” which was spearheaded by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Safe Streets Task Force in New Haven. As a result of the investigation, a total of 16 individuals have been charged with various narcotics offenses related to the large-scale distribution of cocaine, crack cocaine, marijuana and oxycodone in New Haven, East Haven, Branford, West Haven and other towns in New Haven County. During the investigation, law enforcement officers seized more than $75,000 in cash, more than one kilogram of cocaine and approximately 750 grams of crack cocaine.
According to court documents and statements made in court, in February 2009, an individual working with law enforcement made several purchases of crack cocaine from RODRIGUEZ’ father, Roberto “Tito” Rodriguez. During those transactions, Tito informed the purchaser that his son cooked powder cocaine into crack cocaine. On February 8, 2010, Tito Rodriguez contacted RODRIGUEZ and asked him to convert an amount of powder cocaine into crack cocaine, and RODRIGUEZ agreed. The following day, RODRIGUEZ converted the cocaine into 65 grams of crack cocaine at Tito’s apartment, which Tito then sold to his customer.
In April 2009, RODRIGUEZ received a kilogram of cocaine from a New York-based cocaine supplier. A court-authorized wiretap revealed that RODRIGUEZ and other members of the conspiracy then distributed the cocaine throughout the Greater New Haven area.
In pleading guilty, RODRIGUEZ also admitted that he possessed with intent to distribute marijuana and oxycodone.
RODRIGUEZ fled Connecticut in order to avoid prosecution for these offenses. He was arrested by FBI agents in Florida on June 17, 2009.
Judge Underhill has scheduled sentencing for December 3, 2010, at which time RODRIGUEZ faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years, a maximum term of imprisonment of life, and a fine of up to $4 million.
RODRIGUEZ has been detained since his arrest.
Roberto “Tito” Rodriguez pleaded guilty to the same charges and, on November 3, 2009, he was sentenced to 120 months of imprisonment.
This matter was investigated by the FBI New Haven Safe Streets Task Force, which is composed of representatives of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the New Haven Police Department, the Ansonia Police Department, the Milford Police Department, the East Haven Police Department, the Connecticut State Police and the Connecticut Department of Correction. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Robert M. Spector and Christopher M. Mattei.
U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE
Department of Justice
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