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Press Release

Armed Waterbury Drug Dealer Sentenced to 5 Years in Federal Prison

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

Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that KEVIN RIVERA, 29, of Waterbury, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Jeffrey A. Meyer in New Haven to 60 months of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release, for possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

According to court documents and statements made in court, on November 24, 2021, the Waterbury Police Department (WPD) established surveillance at Rivera’s residence in preparation for the execution of multiple state search warrants.  Investigators observed Rivera exit his residence and then open doors to multiple vehicles in the parking lot in front of the building.  Rivera removed a plastic bag from one of the vehicles, conduct what appeared to be drug transaction with an individual, and then drive away.  When Rivera returned a short time later and investigators approached him, Rivera dropped a clear plastic bag containing approximately 46 bags of heroin/fentanyl.  Rivera was arrested at that time.

Searches of Rivera’s residence and vehicles parked in front of his residence revealed more than 3,000 bags of heroin/fentanyl, a small quantity of cocaine, items used to process and package narcotics, a loaded Kel Tec Sub-2000 9mm caliber semiautomatic rifle with an obliterated serial number, an armor-plated bulletproof vest, and other items.

Rivera has been detained since his arrest.  He pleaded guilty on March 11, 2024.

This matter was investigated by the Waterbury Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).  The case was being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Natasha M. Freismuth through Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce gun violence and other violent crime, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  In May 2021, the Justice Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.  For more information about Project Safe Neighborhoods, please visit

Updated June 17, 2024

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses