FORMER FLORIDA STATE TROOPER INVOLVED IN OXYCODONE TRAFFICKING RING SENTENCED TO SEVEN YEARS IN PRISON
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that JUSTIN KOLVES, 29, a former Florida State Trooper, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Janet C. Hall in Bridgeport to 84 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for participating in a narcotics trafficking conspiracy that was responsible for transporting thousands of oxycodone pills from Florida to customers in Connecticut. Three former TSA officers and a former Westchester County Police officer have also pleaded guilty to federal charges stemming from this investigation.
“This significant sentence is appropriate for a sworn law enforcement officer who moonlighted as a bodyguard for a known drug dealer and who assisted in the illegal transport and sale of highly-addictive oxycodone pills,” stated U.S. Attorney Fein. “This prosecution should serve as a clear warning to those few law enforcement officers who disgrace their badges and violate the public’s trust that you will ultimately be caught and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. 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 also 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 dealers. The narcotics trafficker purchased oxycodone pills in Florida for approximately $5.00 per pill, and traveled from Florida to Connecticut several times a week carrying up to 8,000 oxycodone pills per trip. He then used drivers to transport him to and from narcotics transactions during which he would sell the pills to Connecticut-based dealers for between $10.00 and $13.00 per pill. 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. The Connecticut-based dealers sold the pills to lower-level dealers and drug customers for between $23.00 and $30.00 per pill.
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, KOLVES provided “protection” in Connecticut during the sale of at least 2,400 40-mg oxycodone pills and, on September 1, 2011, he 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.
On March 23, 2012, KOLVES pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute oxycodone.
KOLVES has resigned from the Florida Highway Patrol.
Twenty individuals have been charged as a result of this investigation.
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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