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Press Release

Federal Inmate Involved in Fentanyl Trafficking Ring Sentenced to Years More in Prison

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

Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that FELIX CANCEL, JR., 49, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Janet C. Hall in New Haven to 108 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for participating in a fentanyl ring while incarcerated in a federal prison.

According to court documents and statements made in court, in May 2008, Cancel was sentenced in Hartford federal court to 240 months of imprisonment for narcotics distribution and money laundering offenses stemming from his leadership on an extensive Hartford-based heroin trafficking organization.  Cancel has been detained in federal custody since March 2007.

In July 2019, the DEA’s Hartford Task Force began investigating a Mexican-based drug trafficking organization that was distributing fentanyl and heroin in Connecticut.  The investigation revealed that Armando Gonzalez, David Cintron and other members of the organization received kilogram-quantities of narcotics, primarily fentanyl, from a source in Mexico, and then distributed the drug to street-level distributors.  Members of the organization delivered cash generated from the sale of narcotics to a money broker in Brooklyn, New York, who assisted in laundering the narcotics proceeds before they were transferred to leaders of the drug trafficking organization.  Between August and October 2019, investigators seized more than $200,000 in cash from members of the drug trafficking organization.

Gonzalez and Cintron used several locations to store, process and package fentanyl for street stale, including office space on Pratt Street in Hartford, an apartment in the Asylum Hill neighborhood in Hartford, and an apartment in New Britain. 

The investigation revealed that, while he was incarcerated at a federal prison in New Hampshire, Cancel used a contraband cellphone to help coordinate large-scale fentanyl transactions between the Mexican source and Gonzalez and Cintron in Connecticut.

On June 3, 2020, a grand jury returned an indictment charging Cancel, Gonzalez, Cintron and seven others with narcotics distribution and money laundering offenses.  On April 18, 2022, Cancel pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute fentanyl.

Gonzalez and Cintron pleaded guilty to related charges.  On June 27, 2022, Gonzalez, of New Britain, was sentenced to 120 months of imprisonment.  Cintron, of Manchester, is scheduled to be sentenced on September 30.

Judge Hall imposed the 108-month prison term concurrently with Cancel’s prior federal sentence, which has an anticipated completion date in August 2024.

The DEA’s Hartford Task Force includes personnel from the DEA Hartford Resident Office, the Connecticut State Police, and the Bristol, Hartford, East Hartford, Enfield, Manchester, New Britain, Rocky Hill, Wethersfield, Windsor Locks and Willimantic Police Departments.  Agencies assisting the investigation include the DEA New York Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Strike Force and the New York Police Department.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Geoffrey M. Stone through the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Program.  OCDETF identifies, disrupts and dismantles drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs and transnational criminal organizations through a prosecutor-led and intelligence-driven approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.  Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at

Updated September 23, 2022

Drug Trafficking