Hartford Man Sentenced to 3 Years in Federal Prison for Distributing Crack
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that ERIC ORTIZ, also known as “Nice,” 35, of Hartford, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Robert N. Chatigny in Hartford to 36 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for distributing crack cocaine.
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.
In October 2014 and again on three occasions in May 2015, ORTIZ sold crack cocaine to an individual working with law enforcement.
ORTIZ was arrested on June 15, 2015. In January 2016, Hartford Police Department’s Vice and Narcotics unit conducting surveillance in the vicinity of Park Street observed ORTIZ, who was released on bond, engaged in the sale of crack cocaine. His bond was revoked on February 3, 2016.
On August 17, 2016, ORTIZ pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, cocaine base (“crack”).
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.