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Justice News

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

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Groton Cocaine Dealer Pleads Guilty; Two Others Involved In Drug Trafficking Ring Are Sentenced

Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that JUAN G. CHEVEREZ, also known as “Guinchi,” 32, of Groton, pleaded guilty yesterday in Hartford federal court to conspiring to import and distribute large amounts of cocaine in southeastern Connecticut.  In addition, two defendants charged with narcotics distribution offenses as a result of the same investigation were sentenced yesterday.

According to court documents and statements made in court, in early 2012, Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), the U.S. Secret Service and the New London Police Department initiated an investigation to combat the large-scale trafficking of heroin and cocaine from the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico into and around southeastern Connecticut.  The investigation revealed that certain members of the conspiracy coordinated the shipment of heroin, and sometimes cocaine, via human couriers from the Dominican Republic to the United States.  Other members of the conspiracy obtained kilogram-quantities of cocaine in Puerto Rico and then mailed the drug to locations in and around New London where it was sold to distributors and customers.  Narcotics were also obtained from sources in New York City and Rhode Island.

More than 100 individuals were charged with federal and state offenses as a result of this investigation.

CHEVEREZ, who pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, received kilogram-quantities of cocaine in the mail from Axel Matta Figueroa, also known as “Joelito,” in Puerto Rico, and distributed the drug in southeastern Connecticut.  He is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant on June 16, 2014, at which time he faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 40 years.  CHEVEREZ also has agreed to forfeit several vehicles.  He has been detained since his arrest on April 3, 2013.

ISIDRO SUAREZ, also known as “El Diamante Negro,” 47, a citizen of the Dominican Republic last residing in the Bronx, N.Y., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton in New Haven to 18 months of imprisonment.  During the investigation, SUAREZ helped to broker a 200-gram heroin transaction with Luis Ariel Capellan Maldonado.  SUAREZ, who has been detained since his arrest on April 3, 2013, will be deported after he completes his sentence.

ORLANDO GONZALEZ-ROMAN, also known as “Bebo,” 24, of Groton, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant in Hartford to eight months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for assisting Frankie Rivera in the distribution of cocaine out of Rivera’s auto-repair service, PR Speed Shop, in New London.

Frankie Rivera, Luis Ariel Capellan Maldonado and Axel Matta Figueroa have pleaded guilty to narcotics conspiracy offenses.  On February 18, 2014, Rivera was sentenced to 36 months of imprisonment.  Capellan Maldonado and Matta Figueroa await sentencing.

This matter is being investigated by Homeland Security Investigations; U.S. Secret Service; U.S. Postal Inspection Service; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Air and Marine; Connecticut State Police; New London Police Department, Norwich Police Department, Waterford Police Department, Groton Town Police Department, East Lyme Police Department and Putnam Police Department.  The United States Marshals Service; ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations; Drug Enforcement Administration; HSI Assistant Attaché, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; HSI Arecibo, Puerto Rico Resident Office;  Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation; Connecticut Department of Correction, Parole and Community Services; and the Groton City, Willimantic, New Haven and Bristol Police Departments have provided valuable assistance to the investigation.

The federal case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alina P. Reynolds, Sarah P. Karwan and Henry K. Kopel.  The state cases are being prosecuted by the State’s Attorney for the New London Judicial District and Senior Assistant State’s Attorneys Paul Narducci and Stephen Carney.


Tom Carson
(203) 821-3722

Updated March 18, 2015