MANCHESTER MAN SENTENCED TO FIVE YEARS
IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR TRAFFICKING COCAINE
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that RICHARD CRESPO, 37, of Elm Street, Manchester, was sentenced today by Senior United States District Judge Peter C. Dorsey in New Haven to 60 months of imprisonment, followed by four years of supervised release, for conspiring to distribute cocaine to a Hartford-area narcotics trafficking ring.
This matter stems from “Operation Solid Gold,” a joint law enforcement investigation headed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes Task Force. The year-long investigation included the use of court-authorized wiretaps, controlled purchases of cocaine and heroin, and physical surveillance. As a result of the investigation, 55 individuals were charged with various offenses related to the distribution of cocaine and heroin in and around Hartford.
According to court documents and statements made in court, CRESPO conspired with Carlos Maldonado of Newington and others to supply cocaine to a Hartford-area narcotics distribution network. On April 28, 2009, law enforcement agents arranged the purchase of two kilograms of cocaine from Maldonado at a price of $35,000 per kilogram. After agreeing to sell the cocaine, Maldonado spoke with CRESPO, who then left the Broad Street Package Store in Hartford, which CRESPO owned, to pick up the cocaine. Followed by investigators, CRESPO drove to a home on Prospect Street in East Hartford where he rented a garage bay. CRESPO then retrieved two kilograms of cocaine from the garage, placed a black bag containing the cocaine inside his vehicle and started to drive back toward Hartford. Investigators stopped the vehicle and seized the cocaine.
A subsequent search of the garage revealed an additional amount of cocaine and packaging material.
On March 8, 2010, CRESPO pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, 500 grams or more of cocaine.
Maldonado also pleaded guilty and, on February 16, 2010, he was sentenced to 60 months of imprisonment.
This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes Task Force, the Statewide Cooperative Crime Control Task Force of the Connecticut State Police and the Hartford Police Department, with assistance from the Statewide Organized Crime Investigative Task Force of the Connecticut State Police, Connecticut State Police, Troop H, and the Connecticut Department of Correction. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Brian P. Leaming and Geoffrey M. Stone.