BRANFORD MAN SENTENCED TO MORE THAN EIGHT YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR NARCOTICS DISTRIBUTION OFFENSES
ROBERTO J. RODRIGUEZ, also known as “Blanco,” 33, of Branford, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport to 100 months of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release, for his role in a New Haven County narcotics trafficking ring.
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 were convicted of 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, in February 2009, an individual working with law enforcement made several purchases of crack cocaine from RODRIGUEZ’ father, Roberto “Tito” Rodriguez. During those transactions, Tito informed the purchaser that his son cooked powder cocaine into crack cocaine. On February 8, 2010, Tito Rodriguez contacted RODRIGUEZ and asked him to convert an amount of powder cocaine into crack cocaine, and RODRIGUEZ agreed. The following day, RODRIGUEZ converted the cocaine into 65 grams of crack cocaine, which Tito then sold to his customer.
In April 2009, RODRIGUEZ received a kilogram of cocaine from a New York-based cocaine supplier. A court-authorized wiretap revealed that RODRIGUEZ and other members of the conspiracy then distributed the cocaine throughout the Greater New Haven area.
During the investigation, RODRIGUEZ also possessed with intent to distribute marijuana and oxycodone.
RODRIGUEZ initially fled Connecticut in order to avoid prosecution for these offenses. He was arrested by FBI agents in Florida on June 17, 2009, and has been detained since his arrest.
On September 14, 2010, RODRIGUEZ 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.
Roberto “Tito” Rodriguez pleaded guilty to the same charges and, on November 3, 2009, he was sentenced to 120 months of imprisonment.
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 Hamden 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. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Robert M. Spector and Christopher M. Mattei.
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