Hartford Crack Dealer Sentenced to More Than 5 Years in Federal Prison
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that on January 27, 2017, EDUARDO ZAYAS, also known as “Za,” 38, of East Hartford, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Victor A. Bolden in Bridgeport to 65 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for possessing crack cocaine and a firearm.
According to court documents and statements made in court, in September 2014, the FBI’s Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes Task Force and Hartford Police Department initiated an investigation into narcotics distribution, firearms trafficking and acts of violence carried out by members and associates Los Solidos in Hartford’s South End. The investigation, which included the use of court-authorized wiretaps and controlled purchases of heroin, crack cocaine and firearms, resulted in federal charges against approximately 30 individuals.
On May 15, 2015, Hartford Police arrested ZAYAS after he traveled to a parking lot to meet his drug supplier who was in possession of approximately 320 grams of crack. A subsequent search of an apartment on New Britain Avenue in Hartford that was connected to ZAYAS revealed a .25 caliber handgun, a magazine with four live .25 caliber rounds, approximately 52 grams of crack, items used to process and package narcotics, and $4,120 in cash.
ZAYAS has been detained since his federal arrest on June 15, 2015. On May 5, 2016, he pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base (“crack”).
Judge Bolden also ordered ZAYAS to forfeit a 2005 Acura RL, a 2002 GMC Denali, and the cash that was seized at the time of his arrest in May 2015.
The FBI Task Force includes members of the Hartford Police Department, East Hartford Police Department, Connecticut State Police and Connecticut Department of Correction. The Hartford Police Department’s Vice and Narcotics unit, Major Crimes unit, Shooting Task Force and South Conditions Unit have provided valuable assistance to the investigation, and the U.S. Marshals Service and Capitol Region Emergency Response Team (CREST) assisted with the arrests.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Gustafson.
This prosecution stems from Project Longevity, a comprehensive initiative to reduce gun violence in Connecticut’s major cities. Through Project Longevity, community members and law enforcement directly engage with members of groups that are prone to commit violence. A critical component of the Project Longevity strategy is the “call-in,” a face-to-face meeting where Project Longevity partners engage group members and deliver a community message against violence, a law enforcement message about the consequences of further violence and an offer of help for those who want it.
Members of Los Solidos attended call-ins that were held in April 2014 and August 2014.