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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Connecticut

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 6, 2020

East Haven Man Sentenced to 2 Years in Federal Prison for Role in Drug Trafficking Ring

John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that PEDRO ORTA-RIVAS, also known as “Cuba” and “El Brujo,” 51, of East Haven, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Jeffrey A. Meyer in New Haven to 24 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for his role in a New Haven-based drug trafficking organization.

According to court documents and statements made in court, an investigation headed by the Drug Enforcement Administration New Haven Task Force and New Haven Police Department revealed that Malbin Rubiera-Herrera, also known as “Chaca,” acquired fentanyl, heroin and cocaine from sources in Connecticut and New Jersey and distributed the drugs through a network of associates in the greater New Haven area.  Between October and December 2018, investigators made controlled purchases of narcotics from Rubiera-Herrera.  Subsequent court-authorized wiretaps revealed a widespread narcotics trafficking conspiracy that involved the trafficking of kilogram-quantities of fentanyl, heroin and cocaine into Connecticut.  Orta-Rivas helped to broker narcotics transactions, distributed drugs for the organization, and collected monies owed.

On June 5, 2019, a grand jury returned a superseding indictment charging Orta-Rivas, Rubiera-Herrera and 12 other individuals with fentanyl, heroin and cocaine trafficking offenses.  On November 5, 2019, Orta-Rivas pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute, and to possess with intent to distribute, heroin and cocaine.

Orta-Rivas, who is released on a $100,000 bond, is required to report to prison on April 7, 2020.

Rubiera-Herrera pleaded guilty on June 20, 2019, and awaits sentencing.

This matter is being investigated by the DEA New Haven Task Force and the New Haven Police Department, with the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Marshals Service, Connecticut State Police, Connecticut Department of Correction, East Haven Police Department, Easton Police Department, Orange Police Department, and the Cape May County (N.J.) Prosecutor's Office, Gangs, Guns and Narcotics Task Force.

The DEA New Haven Task Force includes participants from the U.S. Marshals Service, Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation Division, and the New Haven, Hamden, West Haven, North Haven, Branford, Ansonia, Meriden, Derby, Middletown, Naugatuck and Waterbury Police Departments.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jocelyn Courtney Kaoutzanis and S. Dave Vatti.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Opioids
Component(s): 
Updated March 6, 2020