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Press Release

15 Charged after FBI Task Force Investigation into Waterbury Drug Trafficking Rings

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Connecticut

United States Attorney Vanessa Roberts Avery, Special Agent in Charge Robert Fuller of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Waterbury Police Chief Fernando C. Spagnolo today announced that the following 15 individuals have been charged with federal offenses stemming from the distribution of cocaine, crack cocaine, and fentanyl in and around Waterbury: 

ANGEL QUIROS, aka “Papa John,” 34, Waterbury
DANIEL DIAZ-RIVERA, a.k.a. “Danny,” “Lupin,” “Lupito,” and “L,” 31, Waterbury
LUIS MUNOZ, aka “P.R.” and “Puerto Rico,” 39, Waterbury
LUIS CRUZ, aka “Fat Boy” and “Goldo,” 26, Waterbury
RICARDO VERDEJO, aka “Ricky,” 25, Waterbury
JOSE RINCON, aka “Mexico,” 42, Prospect
JESUS MALDONADO, aka “Zeus,” 34, Waterbury
CARMELO CANCEL, aka “Bebe,” 30, Waterbury
WILLIE REDD, 42, Naugatuck
TOMMY FIGUEROA, aka “Coco,” 30, Waterbury
JOSE DELROSARIO-CANELA, aka “Domi,” 38, Waterbury
AMBAR MORALES-RIVERA, aka “Gorda,” 34, Waterbury
OSCAR PENA-CRESPO, aka “Boti,” 28, Waterbury

As alleged in court documents and statements made in court, the FBI’s Waterbury Safe Streets Gang Task Force and other law enforcement agencies have been conducting an investigation into drug trafficking in and around the city of Waterbury by drug organizations headed by Angel Quiros and Daniel Diaz-Rivera.  The investigation, which has included court-authorized wiretaps on multiple phones, video surveillance, GPS tracking of vehicles, and numerous controlled purchases of narcotics, revealed that the Quiros and Diaz-Rivera organizations distributed cocaine, crack, and fentanyl through a network of sellers.  Munoz, Cruz, Verdejo, Maldonado, Rincon, and Redd distributed drugs within the Quiros organization, which was based out of the William Street area of Waterbury, and Figueroa, Pena-Crespo, Delrosario-Canela, and Morales-Rios, distributed drugs within the Diaz-Rivera organization, which was based out of the Maple Avenue area of Waterbury.  Morales-Rios, Vazquez-Ferrer, and Morales-Rivera packaged and stored narcotics.  Carmelo Cancel supplied both organizations with narcotics, and investigators identified additional overlap between the two organizations.

Fourteen of the defendants were arrested yesterday on criminal complaints, and Figueroa is currently detained in state custody.  An additional five individuals were arrested on state charges.  In association with the arrests, investigators executed multiple search warrants and seized approximately 700 grams of crack cocaine, more than 900 vials (“caps”) of crack, approximately 200 grams of loose fentanyl, more than 1,600 dose bags of fentanyl/heroin, two stolen firearms, numerous rounds of ammunition, and more than $39,000 in cash.

“We and our federal law enforcement partners continue our work with Waterbury Police to stifle the flow of dangerous narcotics into and around Waterbury, and federally prosecute those responsible,” said U.S. Attorney Avery.  “I thank the members of the FBI Task Force and all the agencies involved in this investigation and who assisted with today’s arrests.  Their work is saving lives and making our communities safer.”

“The FBI Joint Task Force execution of several search and arrest warrants in various locations in and around Waterbury concluded without incident or physical harm to anyone within those communities, and stolen firearms, fentanyl, crack cocaine, and cash were among the items seized,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Fuller.  “The individuals responsible for violating the law will now have to face the consequences of their actions and risk to Connecticut residents.  We would like to thank all our incredible law enforcement partners for great collaboration and making Connecticut a bit safer today.”

“The culmination of this investigation has addressed many issues tied to drug activity and violence in our City,” said Chief Spagnolo.  “We are grateful for our partnerships with the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.  The continued support we receive from our federal partners makes our community safer.”

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.

The FBI’s Waterbury Safe Streets Gang Task includes members from the FBI, the Waterbury Police Department, the Naugatuck Police Department, and the Connecticut Department of Correction.  The DEA, U.S. Marshals Service, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Connecticut State Police, Wolcott Police Department, and Meriden Police Department are assisting the investigation.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Natasha Freismuth and Patrick Doherty 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

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


Updated November 30, 2023

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses