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United States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
Press Release

May 9, 2011


David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that MICHAEL DePAOLA, 54, of North Main Street Extension, Wallingford, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport to 40 months of imprisonment, followed by four years of supervised release, for selling cocaine.  DePAOLA also was ordered to pay a fine in the amount of $10,000.

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, between November 2008 and May 2009, DePAOLA, regularly purchased 100-gram quantities of cocaine from Roberto “Tito” Rodriguez, the former owner of Buy Rite Auto Sales on Ella Grasso Boulevard in New Haven, and redistributed the cocaine to others.  In addition, near the end of the conspiracy, DePAOLA provided $30,000 in cash to fund the purchase of a kilogram of cocaine by Rodriguez’ son, Roberto “Blanco” Rodriguez.

In total, DePAOLA was involved in the purchase and redistribution of between two and 3.5 kilograms of cocaine.  DePAOLA also was a self-described “bookie” who handled bets for individuals, and he regularly distributed high-interest loans to others.

On September 2, 2009, DePAOLA pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine.

Roberto “Tito” Rodriguez and Roberto “Blanco” Rodriguez each has pleaded guilty 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.  On November 3, 2009, Tito was sentenced to 120 months of imprisonment.  Blanco awaits sentencing.

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.  This matter is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Robert M. Spector and Christopher M. Mattei.




Tom Carson
(203) 821-3722





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