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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Connecticut

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Arizona Man Who Transported Fentanyl to Connecticut is Sentenced

John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that ERICK CRESPO-ESCALANTE, 49, of Arizona, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Alvin W. Thompson in Hartford to 30 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for transporting fentanyl to Connecticut.

According to court documents and statements made in court, on December 21, 2016, law enforcement officers stopped a tractor-trailer Crespo-Escalante was driving on Route 34 in Derby.  After a search of the cab of the tractor-trailer revealed a box that contained 25 kilograms of fentanyl, Crespo-Escalante was placed under arrest.

The investigation revealed that Crespo-Escalante was transporting the shipment of fentanyl on behalf of his associate, Omar Villarreal, from California to a location in Waterbury.

Crespo-Escalante has been detained since his arrest.  On April 4, 2017, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, fentanyl.

Crespo-Escalante, a citizen of Mexico and lawful permanent resident of the U.S., faces immigration proceedings when he is released from prison.

Villarreal, of La Puente, California, has been detained since his arrest on May 15, 2017.  On August 30, 2018, he pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and abetting the possession of fentanyl with intent to distribute, and one count of traveling in interstate commerce to promote an unlawful activity.  He is scheduled to be sentenced on May 8.

This matter has been investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Haven Task Force, which includes participants from the U.S. Marshals Service, Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division, and the New Haven, Hamden, West Haven, North Haven, Branford, Ansonia, Meriden, Derby, Middletown, Naugatuck and Waterbury Police Departments.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Dave Vatti.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Opioids
Component(s): 
Updated April 3, 2019