States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
|September 29, 2010||
HEAD OF NEW HAVEN-AREA HEROIN TRAFFICKING RING PLEADS GUILTY
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that JOSE RIVERA, also known as “Primo Flow,” “Moises Valentin-Candelaria,” “Raul Aracena” and “Jose Altreche,” 31, a citizen of the Dominican Republic last residing in West Haven, pleaded guilty today before Senior United States District Judge Warren W. Eginton in Bridgeport to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin. The charge stems from RIVERA’s leadership of a New Haven-area heroin distribution ring.
This matter stems from “Operation Oceanfront,” a long-term Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force investigation, which included the participation of several local police departments. The investigation included the use of court-authorized wiretaps on wireless phones used by RIVERA and another member of the organization. In addition to the wiretap intercepts, the DEA Task Force officers made several controlled purchases of heroin from RIVERA and others during the course of the investigation.
The investigation revealed that RIVERA and other members of the organization processed and packaged heroin for street distribution in both gram-weight quantities and in “bundles,” which are 10 single-dosage unit bags of heroin tied or “bundled” together. RIVERA employed an individual to receive calls from heroin customers and dispatch one of the organization’s “runners” to meet the customers and complete the transaction.
The investigation culminated on November 3, 2009, when DEA Task Force officers attempted to arrest RIVERA. After spotting marked police cars, RIVERA sped away in his vehicle, leading officers on a high speed chase before crashing into a utility pole in the area of Captain Thomas Boulevard in West Haven. Following the crash, RIVERA and a passenger were arrested, and officers seized approximately 100 grams of heroin near the scene.
On November 9, 2009, a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging RIVERA and 11 others with various heroin trafficking offenses.
Judge Eginton has scheduled sentencing for December 17, 2010, at which time RIVERA faces a minimum term of imprisonment of 20 years, a maximum term of imprisonment of life and a fine of up to $8 million.
RIVERA has been detained since his arrest.
This matter was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and officers from area police departments, including the New Haven Police Department’s patrol and narcotics units; the West Haven Police Department, which assigned five officers to the investigation; the Meriden Police Department; the Branford Police Department, and the Ansonia Police Department. The United States Marshals Service also offered critical assistance to the investigation.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Patrick Caruso.
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