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Press Release

Hartford Drug Trafficker Sentenced to More Than 11 Years in Federal Prison

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

Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that GABRIEL CORDERO, 35, of Hartford, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Victor A. Bolden in Bridgeport to 135 months of imprisonment, followed by four years of supervised release, for trafficking heroin and fentanyl.

According to court documents and statements made in court, in October 2016, the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Hartford Task Force began an investigation of an organization that was trafficking large quantities of heroin, fentanyl and other narcotics in Connecticut and western Massachusetts.  The investigation, which included court-authorized wiretaps, controlled purchases of narcotics and physical surveillance, revealed that Cordero and other members of the organization were receiving bulk quantities of heroin and fentanyl from out-of-state suppliers.  They then stored, processed and packaged the heroin/fentanyl in multiple locations, including apartments located at 280 Collins Street in Hartford where some members of the organization also resided, and then distributed the drug in the Hartford area, and also the Springfield and Holyoke, Massachusetts area.  A significant amount of drug trafficking activity occurred at the Neighborhood Supermarket, located at 316 Farmington Avenue in Hartford.

Cordero resided in an apartment at 280 Collins Street, and investigators made multiple controlled purchases of heroin and fentanyl from Cordero and other members of the drug trafficking organization in and around 280 Collins Street and Neighborhood Supermarket.

The investigation also revealed that Cordero and his associates possessed and used firearms in connection with their drug trafficking activity.

During the investigation, law enforcement executed 12 search warrants in Connecticut and Massachusetts and seized approximately 10 kilograms of heroin and fentanyl, much of which was packaged for resale in hundreds of thousands of bags.  Investigators also seized numerous vials of Xylazine, which is a horse tranquilizer used by narcotics traffickers as a heroin/fentanyl additive. Seven firearms, gun magazines, numerous rounds of ammunition, and a bullet proof vest were also seized.

Fourteen individuals have been charged with various narcotics, firearms and immigration offenses as a result of this investigation.

Cordero has been detained since his arrest on June 29, 2017.  On March 24, 2022, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute heroin and fentanyl.

The DEA’s Hartford Task Force includes personnel from the DEA Hartford Resident Office, the Connecticut State Police, and the Bristol, Hartford, East Hartford, Enfield, Manchester, New Britain, Rocky Hill, Wethersfield, Windsor Locks and Willimantic Police Departments.  Agencies assisting the investigation include the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Marshals Service and Connecticut State Police.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Geoffrey M. Stone 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

Updated August 29, 2022

Drug Trafficking