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Press Release

Eastern Connecticut Drug Trafficker Sentenced to More Than 5 Years in Federal Prison

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

John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that CARLOS ALBERTO LOPEZ-ZELADA, also known as “Willi Mexico,” 40, a citizen of El Salvador last residing in Willimantic, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Victor A. Bolden in Bridgeport to 62 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for trafficking heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine.


According to court documents and statements made in court, in October 2015, the DEA, Willimantic Police Department and Connecticut State Police initiated an investigation into a Willimantic-based narcotics trafficking ring after several overdoses in the region.  The investigation, which included the use of confidential informants, physical surveillance, controlled purchases of drugs and court-authorized wiretaps on five cellular telephones utilized by the co-conspirators, revealed that Jose Miranda, also known as “Omar,” of the Bronx, N.Y., was supplying large quantities of heroin and cocaine to LOPEZ-ZELADA and others.  LOPEZ-ZELADA converted a portion of the cocaine he received into crack cocaine.  LOPEZ-ZELADA, with the help of other co-conspirators, then distributed heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine in the Willimantic area.


The investigation further revealed that LOPEZ-ZELADA utilized a garage unit located on Willimantic Road in Chaplin as a stash location and point of distribution for narcotics.


Miranda was arrested on June 23, 2016, after he was intercepted threatening to shoot a co-conspirator who refused to pay him for a quantity of heroin that Miranda had provided to the individual on consignment.


LOPEZ-ZELADA has been detained since his arrest on July 6, 2016.  On May 9, 2017, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin, cocaine and cocaine base (“crack”).


LOPEZ-ZELADA faces immigration proceedings when he is released from prison.


Miranda pleaded guilty to related charges and, on June 13, 2017, was sentenced to 74 months of imprisonment.


This matter was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patrick Caruso, David Nelson and Amy Brown.

Updated November 8, 2017

Drug Trafficking