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Press Release

14 Arrested after Federal, State and Local Investigation into Waterbury Drug Trafficking

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Connecticut
Searches result in seizure of 18 kilos of drugs, $290,000 in cash, and $400,000 in jewelry

United States Attorney Vanessa Roberts Avery, Special Agent in Charge Brian D. Boyle of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England and Waterbury Police Chief Fernando C. Spagnolo today announced that the following 14 individuals were arrested yesterday on federal narcotics trafficking charges related to the distribution of fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine and oxycodone in and around Waterbury:

JAVIER GONZALEZ, a.k.a. “Jay” and “The Crazy One,” 50, of Waterbury
FRANCISCO GONZALEZ, a.k.a. “Sisco,” 51, of Waterbury
JOHN STEFERAK, a.k.a. “Jack,” 43, of Milford
JOSE DUPREY, a.k.a. “Red” and “Colorado,” 51, of Waterbury
WANDA LORA, a.k.a. “Wanda Lopez,” 47, of Waterbury
ROBERT AMATRUDA, a.k.a. “Bubba” and “Spanky,” 38, of Bristol
VICTOR DURAN-BARRERA, a.k.a. “Mexico,” 41, of Bridgeport
GARRY GEBEAU, 56, of Ansonia
THOMAS SANTOS, a.k.a. “White Boy,” 33, of Waterbury
JOSE RAMOS, 40, of Waterbury
MICHELE CRUZ, 36, of Waterbury

As alleged in court documents and statements made in court, the DEA New Haven Task Force, Waterbury Police Department and other law enforcement agencies have been conducting a long-term investigation into drug trafficking in and around the city of Waterbury by Javier Gonzalez and his associates, and by Jose Duprey and his associates.  The investigation has included court-authorized wiretaps on multiple phones, physical surveillance, controlled purchases of narcotics, and motor vehicle stops that resulted in the seizure of drugs and cash proceeds.

In association with yesterday’s arrests, investigators executed 11 search warrants and seized more than 18 kilograms of narcotics, approximately $290,000 in cash, and approximately $400,000 in jewelry.  Specifically, a search of a business location on Straits Turnpike in Middlebury, which, as alleged, Duprey used as a stash location for narcotics and other items, revealed approximately 12 kilograms of a mixture containing suspected fentanyl, one kilogram of suspected heroin, one kilogram of suspected black tar heroin, and $40,000 in cash.  A search of Francisco Gonzalez’s residence on Geddes Terrace in Waterbury revealed approximately two kilograms of a mixture of suspected cocaine and fentanyl, two kilograms of suspected heroin, and $200,000 in cash.  A search of Javier Gonzalez’s residence on Enoch Street in Waterbury revealed approximately one kilogram of marijuana, $30,000 in cash, and $400,000 in jewelry.  Quantities of cocaine and heroin, and approximately $20,000 in cash, were seized from other locations.

Each defendant is charged by criminal complaint with conspiracy to distribute, and to possess with intent to distribute, narcotics, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.  Certain defendants face stronger penalties, including mandatory minimum terms of imprisonment, based on the type and quantity of drug attributable to them.  Javier Gonzalez and his brother, Francisco Gonzalez, are also charged with bulk cash smuggling, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years.

“As too many Connecticut residents continue to lose their battle with drug addiction, and too many families and communities are impacted by the resulting trauma that addiction causes, we in the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners are steadfast in our commitment to stop the flow of these deadly drugs into and around our state, and we will prosecute those involved to the full extent of federal law,” said U.S. Attorney Avery.  “I thank the DEA and their task force members, notably the Waterbury Police, for their work in identifying and apprehending these individuals, and seizing such a significant quantity of narcotics and drug proceeds.  Their efforts have unquestionably saved lives.”

“Fentanyl, heroin and cocaine are causing great damage to our communities and DEA’s top priority is to aggressively pursue anyone who distributes this poison in order to profit and destroy lives,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Brian D. Boyle. “Let these arrests and seizures be a warning to those traffickers who are distributing drugs to the people of Connecticut. The DEA and its local, state and federal partners will do everything in our power to bring you to justice.”

“We are thankful that our ongoing work with the DEA and the U.S. Attorney’s Office continues to thwart drug trafficking in Waterbury and remove those involved from our community,” said Chief Spagnolo.  “We look forward to continuing this important work with our federal partners.”

U.S. Attorney Avery stressed that a complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.  Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This investigation is being conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration New Haven Task Force and the Waterbury Police Department, with the assistance of DEA offices in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; U.S. Marshals Service; U.S. Postal Inspection Service; Connecticut State Police; Connecticut Department of Correction; Connecticut State Parole; and the Naugatuck, Ansonia, West Haven, Meriden and East Haven Police Departments.

U.S. Attorney Avery thanked the Waterbury State’s Attorney’s Office for its cooperation in the investigation and prosecution of this matter.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patrick F. Caruso and Brendan Keefe through the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Program.  OCDETF identifies, disrupts and dismantles drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs and transnational criminal organizations through a prosecutor-led and intelligence-driven approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.  Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at

Updated May 26, 2022

Asset Forfeiture
Drug Trafficking