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Press Release

Hartford Crack Dealer Sentenced To More Than Seven Years In Federal Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Connecticut
January 14, 2013

David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that JUAN CARTAGENA, 28, of Hartford, was sentenced today by Chief United States District Judge Alvin W. Thompson in Hartford to 92 months of imprisonment for distributing crack cocaine in Hartford.  CARTAGENA also was ordered to serve five years of supervised release and perform 250 hours of community service after his release from prison.

This matter stems from “Operation Vinefield,” a joint law enforcement investigation headed by the FBI’s Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes Task Force targeting narcotics trafficking and gang violence in Hartford’s North End.  As a result of the nine-month investigation, 38 individuals were charged with various offenses related to the distribution of crack cocaine and the unlawful possession and dealing of firearms in and around Hartford.

According to court documents and statements made in court, CARTAGENA and others conspired to distribute crack cocaine in Hartford’s lower Vine Street area, as well as in other locations in Hartford and East Hartford.

CARTAGENA, whose criminal history includes multiple felony convictions, has been detained since his arrest on March 9, 2012.  On August 29, 2012, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, 28 grams or more of cocaine base (“crack cocaine”).

This matter has been investigated by the FBI’s Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes Task Force, the Connecticut State Police, the Hartford Police Department, and the Connecticut Department of Correction.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Brian P. Leaming.


Tom Carson
(203) 821-3722

Updated April 25, 2023