States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
|February 28, 2011||
FBI TASK FORCE ARREST 15 MORE ALLEGED
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Kimberly K. Mertz, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, today announced that a federal grand jury sitting in New Haven has returned a superseding indictment charging 26 individuals with narcotics trafficking offenses related to the distribution of cocaine in and around New Haven.
According to court documents and statements made in court, the charges are the result of an FBI Safe Streets Task Force investigation that included the use of court-authorized wiretaps on four telephones. During the course of the investigation, the defendants were recorded on numerous occasions allegedly arranging the purchase and distribution of what ultimately amounted to kilograms of cocaine.
Nine of the men charged in the superseding indictment were originally charged in an indictment that was returned in December 2010. The superseding indictment, which was returned on February 24, charges an additional 17 defendants. Fifteen of the newly-charged defendants were arrested this morning by members of the FBI Safe Streets Task Force. Two individuals are currently being sought by law enforcement.
During the course of the investigation, Task Force agents have seized a total of approximately seven kilograms of cocaine and more than $27,000 in U.S. currency.
The indictment charges each of the following 23 defendants with conspiracy to distribute, and to possess with the intent to distribute, five or more kilograms of cocaine:
NELSON PEREZ-GUZMAN, aka “Nel,” 37, of Shelton Avenue, Hamden;
(The following 15 defendants were arrested this morning.)
If convicted of this charge, each defendant faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years, a maximum term of imprisonment of life and a fine up to $4 million.
In addition to the conspiracy charge contained in Count One of the indictment, PEREZ-GUZMAN, QUINONES and VIZCARRANDO are each charged in separate counts of the indictment with possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine. In another count, VIZCARRANDO and RUFINO CANDELARIO, 26, of 44 Ivy Street, New Haven, are charged with possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine. If convicted of these charges, each of the defendants faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years, a maximum term of imprisonment of 40 years and a fine of up to $2 million.
CASANOVA-DEJESUS also is charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.
Finally, the indictment charges HERNANDEZ with conspiring to distribute cocaine while released on bond in the case of United States v. Angelo Hernandez, et.al., 3:09CR130. If convicted of this offense, HERNANDEZ faces a consecutive sentence of imprisonment of up to 10 years and a fine of up to $250,000.
The indictment also seeks the forfeiture of the U.S. currency that was seized during the course of the investigation.
U.S. Attorney Fein stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case is being investigated by the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force, which includes the Ansonia, Hamden, New Haven and Milford Police Departments, the Connecticut State Police and the Connecticut Department of Correction. The West Haven Police Department has also provided valuable assistance to the investigation.
U.S. Attorney Fein also recognized the assistance of the New Haven Police Department’s Tactical Narcotics Unit and its Street Interdiction Unit for their assistance in making the arrests and seizures in this case.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael E. Runowicz.
U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE
Department of Justice
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