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Press Release

Gang Leader Sentenced to 16 Years in Federal Prison for Drug and Gun Offenses

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

John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that WILSON VELEZ, also known as “Wiso,” 35, of Newington, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Jeffrey A. Meyer in New Haven to 192 months of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release, for gang-related narcotics and firearm offenses.

According to court documents and statements made in court, this matter stems from an investigation headed by the FBI’s Northern Connecticut Gang Task Force and the Hartford Police Department’s Vice, Intelligence and Narcotics Division targeting gang violence and narcotics trafficking in Hartford.  Velez was a member of the Almighty Latin Kings Nation (“Latin Kings”) and had achieved the rank of a Regional Officer for Connecticut, the second highest-ranking Latin King in the state.  The investigation revealed that Velez was distributing large quantities of heroin and fentanyl.  Velez employed other Latin Kings and associates, his 18-year-old nephew and other family members, and others, including a juvenile, to process, package and distribute the drugs from apartment buildings on Hamilton Street and Elliot Street in Hartford.  During the investigation, law enforcement conducted multiple controlled purchases of narcotics from Velez and other members of the drug trafficking organization.

On April 28, 2017, Velez orchestrated the armed confrontation of a rival drug dealer who was selling drugs in the area of Franklin Avenue and Barker Street.  On that date, Velez and four other Latin Kings were involved in a gunfire exchange that left multiple participants wounded.

Velez was arrested on federal narcotics offenses on December 7, 2017, and was subsequently released on bond.  While released, he continued his criminal activity, and also notified other gang members to the ongoing federal investigation.  He has been detained since April 5, 2018, when his bond was revoked.

On May 1, 2018, a grand jury returned a 41-count indictment charging Velez and nine other members and associates of the Latin Kings.  On February 22, 2019, Velez pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin and/or 400 grams or more of fentanyl, and one count of conspiracy to use and carry a firearm in relation to, and furtherance of, a drug trafficking crime.

U.S. Attorney Durham noted that federal prisoners are required to serve at least 85 percent of their prison term and are not eligible for parole.

The FBI Task Force includes members of the Hartford Police Department, East Hartford Police Department, Connecticut State Police and Connecticut Department of Correction.

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

Updated July 8, 2020

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Drug Trafficking
Violent Crime