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Press Release

El Paso Man Sentenced to 5 Years in Federal Prison for Trafficking Cocaine

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

Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that that CHRISTOPHER CHAVEZ, 40, of El Paso, Texas, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Alker Meyer in New Haven to 60 months of imprisonment, followed by four years of supervised release, for his role in a cocaine trafficking organization that transported large amounts of cocaine into Connecticut.  CHAVEZ also was ordered to pay a $25,000 fine.

According to court documents and statements made in court, CHAVEZ’s father, Raul Chavez, headed a cocaine trafficking operation that smuggled cocaine from Mexico into El Paso and then transported the drug to Connecticut and elsewhere.  CHRISTOPHER CHAVEZ’s role in the conspiracy typically involved transporting the cocaine from locations in El Paso to a warehouse where it was secreted within the cargo of tractor trailers bound for Connecticut.  He also received and delivered hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Sinaloa cartel.

In 2014, the Chavez organization attempted to find an additional source of supply for its Hartford area cocaine customers.  In July 2014, a DEA confidential source met Andrew Duron in North Carolina.  During the meeting, Duron told the confidential source that he wanted to purchase up to 50 kilograms of cocaine for $28,000 per kilogram.  On August 14, 2014, Duron, the confidential source and an undercover DEA agent met in New Jersey where Duron agreed to purchase 25 kilograms of cocaine.  In subsequent conversations with the confidential source, Duron stated that he wanted an extra $1000 per kilogram as a side deal.  They agreed on a total price of $725,000 for 25 kilograms of cocaine.

On August 23, 2014, Duron met the undercover DEA agent at a location in Wethersfield.  Duron told the undercover agent that his associates were in Connecticut and that Duron and the undercover agent would need to travel to a store parking lot near Bradley International Airport to verify that the money was in place.  Duron and the undercover agent then drove in separate vehicles to a store parking lot on Kennedy Road in Windsor.  Duron met with Raul Chavez and another associate in the store.  A short time later, a third associate arrived in a Jeep Wrangler, met the undercover agent in the parking lot, showed him a duffel bag and said it contained “half” of the money.  Shortly thereafter, investigators arrived at the scene and arrested Duron, Raul Chavez and his associates.  Investigators also recovered from the Jeep a duffel bag containing approximately $284,000 in cash, and a loaded .38 caliber revolver.

After word reached CHRISTOPHER CHAVEZ that his father and others had been arrested, he coordinated the diversion of a shipment of 34 kilograms of cocaine that was en route to Connecticut to a high-level drug distributor in Cleveland, Ohio.

CHRISTOPHER CHAVEZ was arrested in El Paso on August 27, 2015.  He has been detained since his arrest.  On March 11, 2016, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine.

Raul Chavez and Duron also pleaded guilty.  On September 22, 2015, Duron, also of El Paso, was sentenced to 84 months of imprisonment.  Raul Chavez awaits sentencing.

This investigation has been conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Hartford Task Force, including personnel from the DEA Hartford Resident Office and the Bristol, Hartford, Manchester, New Britain, Newington, and Wethersfield Police Departments.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian P. Leaming.

Updated October 7, 2016

Drug Trafficking