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Press Release

Bloomfield Man Charged with Drug Trafficking and Firearms Offenses

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

Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Ketty Larco-Ward, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Boston Division, today announced that, a federal grand jury in New Haven has returned an indictment charging JOSEPH GIOVANNI SOTO, 32, of Bloomfield, with narcotics distribution and firearm possession offenses.

The indictment was returned on June 7, and Soto was arrested yesterday.

As alleged in an indictment and statements made in court, beginning in April 2021, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s Narcotics and Bulk Cash Trafficking Task Force began investigating a cocaine trafficking operation headed by Soto.  The investigation revealed that Soto was coordinating the shipment of parcels containing kilogram quantities of cocaine from U.S. Post Offices in Puerto Rico to various “drop addresses” in New Britain and Meriden, Connecticut, as well as addresses in Holyoke and West Springfield, Massachusetts.  Soto and others picked up parcels from the drop addresses and delivered them to stash houses in Bloomfield and New Britain.  It is alleged that investigators intercepted and seized more than five kilograms of cocaine and have identified numerous other suspicious parcels that likely contained kilogram quantities of cocaine.

On May 1, 2023, investigators conducted a court-authorized search of Soto’s residence and seized two firearms, a drum magazine, various ammunition, approximately two kilograms of cocaine, and approximately $12,000 in cash.  Soto was arrested on state charges on that date.

It is alleged that Soto’s criminal history includes a state felony conviction for assault.  It is a violation of federal law for a person previously convicted of a felony offense to possess a firearm or ammunition that has moved in interstate or foreign commerce.

The indictment charges Soto with one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, an offense that carries a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life; one count of possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, an offense that carries a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years and a maximum term of imprisonment of 40 years; and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 15 years.

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

Soto is released on a $100,000 bond pending trial.

This matter is being investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Narcotics and Bulk Cash Trafficking Task Force, which includes members from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the U.S. Postal Service – Office of the Inspector General, the Connecticut Army National Guard, and the Hartford, New Britain, Meriden, and Town of Groton Police Departments.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Levick.

Updated June 13, 2023

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses