FORMER FLORIDA STATE TROOPER ADMITS
PARTICIPATING IN OXYCODONE TRAFFICKING CONSPIRACY
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that JUSTIN KOLVES, 29, a former Florida State Trooper, pleaded guilty on Friday, March 23, before United States Magistrate Judge Holly B. Fitzsimmons in Bridgeport to federal charges stemming from his participation in a narcotics trafficking conspiracy that was responsible for transporting thousands of oxycodone pills from Florida to customers in Connecticut.
“This defendant, a sworn law enforcement officer, took cash from a known drug dealer to assist in the illegal transport and sale of highly-addictive oxycodone pills,” stated U.S. Attorney Fein. “That this officer saw fit to serve as a bodyguard for the drug dealer on three different narcotics transactions in Connecticut is offensive to, and not representative of, the vast majority of hard working law enforcement personnel who strive to protect the public. I commend the DEA Task Force for shutting down a pipeline of prescription pills from Florida to Connecticut, and for bringing to justice this corrupt officer and others who contributed the illegal scheme. I want to thank the Florida Highway Patrol for its cooperation in this matter.”
This matter stems from “Operation Blue Coast,” an investigation headed by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Bridgeport High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force into the large-scale trafficking of oxycodone pills from Florida to Connecticut. The investigation revealed that an individual regularly purchased oxycodone from suppliers in Florida, transported the oxycodone to Connecticut by commercial airline or automobile, and sold the pills to various Connecticut-based narcotics traffickers. The narcotics trafficker traveled from Florida to Connecticut several times a week carrying up to 8000 oxycodone pills per trip. He then used drivers to transport him to and from narcotics transactions during which he would sell all of the pills he transported from Florida. After exchanging low-denomination currency for larger notes, he transported the proceeds of his oxycodone sales from Connecticut to Florida, either by having a courier drive the money or by using commercial airline flights.
According to court documents and statements made in court, KOLVES was employed as a trooper with the Florida Department of Transportation before it merged with the Florida Highway Patrol. From approximately mid-2010 to April 2011, KOLVES had a relationship with the narcotics trafficker and knew that he transported oxycodone from Florida to Connecticut. Between July and September 2011, KOLVES traveled to Connecticut on three occasions to serve as a bodyguard for the drug dealer during illegal oxycodone transactions. KOLVES was reimbursed travel expenses and paid a total of $3,700 for his work as a bodyguard.
On July 28, 2011, provided “protection” in Connecticut during the sale of at least 2,400 40-mg oxycodone pills and, on September 1, 2011, KOLVES returned to Connecticut to provide protection during a sale of 5,000 40-mg oxycodone pills.
KOLVES was arrested on September 12, 2011, after he returned to Connecticut to provide protection during the sale of another 5,000 40-mg oxycodone pills. At the time of his arrest, KOLVES informed arresting officers that he was “on the job,” parlance for his status as a police officer.
KOLVES pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute oxycodone, a charge that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years. KOLVES is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Mark R. Kravitz in New Haven on June 14, 2012.
KOLVES has resigned from the Florida Highway Patrol.
Twenty individuals have been charged as a result of this investigation. As to the defendants who are awaiting trial, charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This matter is being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Bridgeport High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force, which includes personnel from the Connecticut State Police and the Bridgeport, Milford, Norwalk, Stamford and Westport Police Departments; the Drug Enforcement Administration in Florida and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General. In addition, the U.S. Marshals Service and the Greenwich, Monroe, Danbury and Waterbury Police Departments have assisted the investigation.
U.S. Attorney Fein also acknowledged the cooperation of the Westchester County Department of Public Safety and the Florida Highway Patrol, and the substantial assistance provided by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida.
This case is being prosecuted in the District of Connecticut by Assistant United States Attorneys Rahul Kale and Tracy Lee Dayton.
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