News and Press Releases


March 13, 2012

David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that RAMON VASQUEZ, 35, of Hazelton, Penn., was sentenced today by Senior United States District Judge Warren W. Eginton in Bridgeport to 48 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for supplying heroin to a New Haven-area heroin trafficking ring.

This matter stems from “Operation Oceanfront,” a long-term Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force investigation into a New Haven Country heroin trafficking organization headed by Jose Rivera, also known as “Moises Valentin-Candelaria,” “Primo Flow” and other aliases.  The investigation revealed that Rivera regularly obtained bulk quantities of heroin from VASQUEZ and another individual.  Rivera and other members of his organization then processed and packaged the 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 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 culminated on October 27, 2009, when VASQUEZ and Rivera attempted to flee from DEA Task Force officers in a vehicle that Rivera was driving.  After spotting marked police cars, Rivera sped away in the 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, VASQUEZ and Rivera were arrested, and officers seized approximately 100 grams of heroin near the scene.

On December 1, 2010, VASQUEZ pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin.

Rivera, a citizen of the Dominican Republic last residing in West Haven, pleaded guilty to the same charge and, on January 26, 2012, he was sentenced to 120 months of imprisonment.

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, and the Meriden, Branford, Hamden and Ansonia Police Departments.  The United States Marshals Service also offered critical assistance to the investigation.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Patrick Caruso.


Tom Carson
(203) 821-3722



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