Armed Heroin Trafficker Sentenced to 7 Years in Federal Prison
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that MELVIN CASTRO, also known as “Humacoa,” 23, of Hartford, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport to 84 months of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release, for trafficking heroin and selling firearms.
According to court documents and statements made in court, in September 2014, the FBI’s Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes Task Force and Hartford Police Department initiated an investigation into narcotics distribution, firearms trafficking and acts of violence carried out by members and associates Los Solidos in Hartford’s South End. The investigation, which included the use of court-authorized wiretaps and controlled purchases of heroin, crack cocaine and firearms, resulted in federal charges against approximately 30 individuals.
The investigation revealed that CASTRO controlled the distribution of heroin in the Park Street, Babcock Street and Zion Street area of Hartford. On 12 occasions, CASTRO sold a total of 2,704 bags of heroin to an individual working with law enforcement. Wiretaps also captured numerous conversations in which CASTRO orchestrated hundreds of additional sales of heroin. In addition, the Task Force orchestrated the purchase of six firearms from CASTRO during the investigation.
CASTRO has been detained since his arrest on June 15, 2015. On February 3, 2016, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and distribution of, 100 grams or more of heroin.
The FBI Task Force includes members of the Hartford Police Department, East Hartford Police Department, Connecticut State Police and Connecticut Department of Correction. The Hartford Police Department’s Vice and Narcotics Squad, Major Crimes Unit, Shooting Task Force and South Conditions Unit have provided valuable assistance to the investigation, and the U.S. Marshals Service and Capitol Region Emergency Response Team (CREST) assisted with the arrests.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Gustafson.
This prosecution stems from Project Longevity, a comprehensive initiative to reduce gun violence in Connecticut’s major cities. Through Project Longevity, community members and law enforcement directly engage with members of groups that are prone to commit violence. A critical component of the Project Longevity strategy is the “call-in,” a face-to-face meeting where Project Longevity partners engage group members and deliver a community message against violence, a law enforcement message about the consequences of further violence and an offer of help for those who want it.
Members of Los Solidos attended call-ins that were held in April 2014 and August 2014.