DEA Task Force Investigation Dismantles New Haven Heroin Distribution Ring; 18 Arrested
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Michael J. Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England, announced that 18 New Haven residents were arrested today on federal heroin distribution charges.
The arrests stem from “Operation Northern Corridor,” a joint investigation headed by the DEA New Haven Task Force, FBI and New Haven Police Department into the distribution of heroin in New Haven. The investigation included the use of court-authorized wiretaps, physical surveillance and controlled purchases of heroin from wholesale and street-level distributors operating in the area of Ferry Street, Grand Avenue and Blatchley Avenue in New Haven’s Fair Haven neighborhood.
“We allege that this organization distributed a significant amount of heroin in Fair Haven,” said U.S. Attorney Daly. “Because heroin is endangering and increasingly taking the lives of so many citizens, the U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to working with the DEA and our law enforcement partners to target groups and prosecute individuals that traffic this insidious drug.”
“DEA is committed to investigating and dismantling large-scale drug trafficking organizations like this one operating in the New Haven area,” said Special Agent in Charge Ferguson. “Heroin distribution destroys people’s lives and wreaks havoc in our communities. DEA and our law enforcement partners will aggressively pursue any group that distributes these drugs.”
On July 9, 2015, a grand jury in New Haven returned two indictments charging a total of 19 individuals with heroin distribution offenses. The following 18 individuals were arrested today:
WILSON VASQUEZ, a.k.a. “Will” and “Pancho,” 42
FRANCISCO RODRIGUEZ, a.k.a. “Franky” and “Bubba,” 49
VICTOR RIVERA, 43
TODD BEILBY, 53
NELSON COLON, 39
ALFREDO COLLAZO, a.k.a. “Indio,” 37
MIGUEL SOTO, a.k.a. “Fat Boy,” 30
FRANK MROWKA, 52
ELIO DELIMA, a.k.a. “Victor Cuevas” and “Ely,” 36
EMMANUEL FLEMING, a.k.a. “Mikey,” 35
JOSE LUGO, a.k.a. “Kiro,” 45
ANTHONY VELEZ, a.k.a. “Tone,” 36
JOSE ALBARRAN, a.k.a. “Ghangi,” 57
LUIS ALBARRAN, a.k.a. “Lulu,” 38
VICTOR AZEVEDO, 43
ROBERTO TORRES, a.k.a. “Tony,” 48
JOSE VASQUEZ, 41
JOSE DAVILA, 26
One defendant is currently being sought.
In association with today’s arrests, law enforcement officers seized approximately 500 grams of raw heroin, three handguns, approximately $40,000 in cash and five vehicles.
WILSON VASQUEZ, RODRIGUEZ, RIVERA, BEILBY, COLON, COLLAZO, SOTO, MROWKA, DELIMA and FLEMING, are charged with conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin, an offense that carries mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life.
LUGO, VELEZ, JOSE ALBARRAN, LUIS ALBARRAN, AZEVEDO, TORRES, JOSE VAZQUEZ and DAVILA are charged with conspiracy to distribute a quantity of heroin, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.
DELIMA, FLEMING, COLLAZO, DELIMA and LUGO are also charged with one or more counts of possession with intent to distribute heroin.
The 18 individuals who were arrested today appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah A.L. Merriam in New Haven and are currently detained.
U.S. Attorney Daly stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This matter is being investigated by the DEA New Haven Task Force, FBI and New Haven Police Department. The Task Force includes participants from the New Haven, Hamden, West Haven, North Haven, East Haven, Branford, Ansonia, Meriden and Derby Police Departments, and the U.S. Marshals Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney H. Gordon Hall.