States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
|October 19, 2010||
NEW HAVEN MAN SENTENCED TO MORE THAN SIX YEARS IN PRISON FOR ROLE IN NEW HAVEN DRUG TRAFFICKING RING
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that JULIO SANTANA, also known as “Flaco,” 41, last residing on Whalley Avenue in New Haven, was sentenced today by Senior United States District Judge Alfred V. Covello in Hartford to 80 months of imprisonment, followed by 10 years of supervised release, his role in a narcotics trafficking ring that operated in New Haven from 2005 to 2009. On July 6, 2009, SANTANA pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin and one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine base (“crack cocaine”).
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, also known as “Cangri,” 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 other 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 prepackaged “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.”
The investigation revealed that SANTANA regularly traveled to New York where, at the direction of Torres-Rios, he picked up bundles of heroin. He then brought the heroin back to New Haven where it was distributed through a network of street-level dealers who worked for Torres-Rios. SANTANA also distributed crack cocaine Torres-Rios.
SANTANA, Torres-Rios and 18 others were charged as a result of the investigation. All 20 have pleaded guilty.
On September 9, 2010, Torres-Rios was sentenced to 121 months of imprisonment.
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.
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