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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 30, 2018

Hartford Gang Member Sentenced to More Than 6 Years in Federal Prison

John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that RUBEN TORRES, also known as “Rube,” “Ru,” and “T,” 26, of Hartford, was sentenced today by Chief U.S. District Judge Janet C. Hall in New Haven to 78 months of imprisonment, followed by four years of supervised release, for distributing heroin and crack cocaine in Hartford.

According to court documents and statements made in court, this matter stems from a joint law enforcement investigation headed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes Task Force and the Hartford Police Department’s Vice and Narcotics Division targeting gang violence and narcotics trafficking in Hartford’s Parkville neighborhood, and related overdoses.  The investigation specifically targeted criminal activity being committed by members and associates of the Orange Street Killas (OSK), which operated principally in the area of Orange, Cherry and Arbor Streets.  The investigation followed a series of reports of shots fired in the area, and a homicide that was committed on Cherry Street in October 2015.  The prosecution was built on court-authorized wiretaps, controlled purchases of narcotics and physical and video surveillance, all of which revealed that OSK members acquired heroin and crack cocaine and then sold the narcotics on the streets of Hartford.

The investigation revealed that TORRES, an OSK member, sold heroin and crack to drug users and other distributors.

On October 8, 2016, investigators intercepted TORRES on others on calls discussing firearms and planning a violent act.  Investigators immediately notified Hartford Police that violence might be imminent in the Orange and Cherry Street area, but before police could respond, at approximately 10:12 p.m., a man was chased and shot multiple times in front of 7-9 Cherry Street.  The victim was located in the backyard of 51 Orange Street.  He was suffering from three gunshot wounds to his legs, was transported to the hospital and survived the shooting.  Minutes after the shooting, TORRES and others referenced the shooting on the wiretap.

On October 31, 2016, TORRES and another individual were intercepted discussing a .40 caliber firearm.  On January 26, 2017, TORRES sold 600 bags of heroin, approximately one-half ounce of crack cocaine, and 34 rounds of .40 caliber ammunition to an undercover officer.

On February 10, 2017, investigators arrested TORRES and several of his codefendants.  On that date, a search of TORRES’s residence revealed approximately 260 bags of heroin, drug paraphernalia, assorted ammunition, a gun holster, a gun cleaner kit and $1,379 in cash.

TORRES has been detained since his arrest.  On November 8, 2017, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin.

Sixteen individuals were charged as a result of the investigation.

This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes Task Force and the Hartford Police Department.  The 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 Division and Shooting Task Force have provided valuable assistance to the investigation.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian P. Leaming.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Opioids
Component(s): 
Updated March 30, 2018