You are here

Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Gang Member Sentenced to 46 Months in Federal Prison for Distributing Fentanyl

John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that Anthony Esposito, also known as “Mafia,” 52, of New Haven, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea to 46 months of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release, for narcotics trafficking and firearm possession offenses.

Pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the court proceeding occurred via videoconference.

According to court documents and statements made in court, in 2018, the FBI’s Northern Connecticut Gang Task Force began investigating Ricardo Reyes, also known as “Rick the Ruler,” a member of the Los Solidos street gang who was distributing fentanyl, heroin, cocaine and crack in the area of Park Street and Hungerford Street in Hartford.  During the investigation, law enforcement conducted multiple controlled purchases of narcotics from Reyes.  Court-authorized wiretaps confirmed that Reyes was distributing narcotics to numerous customers, and identified individuals who supplied drugs to Reyes and associates who sold drugs on his behalf.  Intercepted communications also revealed Reyes was acquiring and trafficking firearms.

The investigation revealed that Reyes supplied Esposito, also a member of Los Solidos, with fentanyl that Esposito sold to his own customers in the New Haven area.

Esposito was arrested on June 17, 2019.

On June 27, 2019, a grand jury Hartford returned a 32-count indictment charging Reyes, Esposito and 13 associates with various narcotics trafficking and firearm possession offenses.

Esposito has been detained since his arrest.  On August 6, 2020, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, fentanyl.

Esposito’s criminal history spans 30 years and includes convictions for firearm, drug and violent crime offenses, including a 1998 federal conviction for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and a 2003 state conviction for first degree sexual assault.

Reyes has pleaded guilty and awaits sentencing.

The FBI’s Northern Connecticut Gang Task Force includes members of the Hartford Police Department, East Hartford Police Department, New Britain Police Department, West Hartford Police Department, Connecticut State Police and Connecticut Department of Correction.  The Hartford Police Department’s Vice and Narcotics Division provided valuable assistance to the investigation.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian P. Leaming 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 https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking
Opioids
Firearms Offenses
Updated February 9, 2021