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Press Release

East Hartford Man Who Operated Manchester Drug Mill Pleads Guilty to Fentanyl Trafficking Charge

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

John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England, and Manchester Police Chief William Darby announced that LUIS CIURO, 36, of East Hartford, waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty today to one count of possession with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl.

Pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the court proceeding before U.S. District Judge Kari A. Dooley occurred via videoconference.

According to court documents and statements made in court, on October 15, 2019, Manchester Police received a call reporting that a woman was yelling and displaying a gun outside of an apartment building on John Olds Drive in Manchester.  Law enforcement had previously received information that an individual was operating a fentanyl mill in an apartment within the same building.

Responding officers conducted surveillance of the building and saw Ciuro exit the building and place a black bag into the trunk of a car.  After Ciuro and another individual entered the car and it drove away, officers conducted a traffic stop.  An officer opened the trunk of car and retrieved the bag that Ciuro had carried from the building.  The bag contained one shoebox that contained approximately $70,000 in cash, and a second shoebox that contained two loaded handguns, both of which had been reported stolen.  After Ciuro admitted to law enforcement that used an apartment on John Olds Drive to store and process narcotics, a search of the apartment revealed approximately 687 grams of fentanyl, .69 grams of PCP, four grams of psilocybin mushrooms, and various drug-packaging materials.

Ciuro’s criminal history includes a federal conviction for conspiring to distribute crack cocaine.  On January 4, 2008, he was sentenced in New Haven federal court to 84 months of imprisonment for that offense.

Judge Dooley scheduled sentencing for February 12, 2021, at which time Ciuro faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 15 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life.

The penalties in this case are enhanced based on Ciuro’s criminal history.

Ciuro is detained pending sentencing.

This investigation is being conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Hartford Task Force and the Manchester Police Department.  The Task Force includes personnel from the DEA Hartford Resident Office and the Bristol, Hartford, East Hartford, Manchester, New Britain, Rocky Hill, Wethersfield, Windsor Locks and Willimantic Police Departments.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nathaniel J. Gentile.

Updated November 20, 2020

Drug Trafficking