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Press Release

Hartford Man Sentenced To 71 Months In Federal Prison For Possessing Heroin, Firearms

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

Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that JOSHUA SAEZ, 24, of Hartford, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport to 71 months of imprisonment, followed by four years of supervised release, for possessing heroin, which he stole from a drug dealer, and two handguns.

According to court documents and statements made in court, in January 2013, the DEA’s Hartford Task Force began an investigation into the narcotics distribution activities of Luis Fernandez of East Hartford.  The investigation, which included the use of court-authorized wiretaps and controlled purchases of narcotics, revealed that Fernandez’s family members and associates in southern California shipped heroin, cocaine and marijuana to Fernandez at various addresses in the Hartford area.  Fernandez, who also was supplied with narcotics from individuals in New York, sold the drugs locally to other dealers and customers.

During the course of the investigation, SAEZ and Eric Colon made arrangements to obtain approximately 140 grams of heroin from co-defendant Jose Rivera-Baron.  While under law enforcement surveillance, Rivera-Baron met with Colon and SAEZ in the parking lot of a restaurant on Franklin Avenue in Hartford.  Following the meeting, Colon drove away at high rate of speed.  Investigators believed that Rivera-Baron had been robbed and pursued Colon’s car.  SAEZ exited the car and was taken into custody.  A search of his person revealed two handguns and 138.1 grams of heroin.

The investigation revealed that SAEZ and Colon had stolen the heroin from Rivera-Baron.

The quantity of heroin that SAEZ possessed would have produced nearly 7000 individual dosage bags and had a street value of approximately $35,000.

Prior to August 2013, SAEZ had been convicted of a felony assault charge.  It is a violation of federal law for a person previously convicted of a felony offense to possess a firearm or ammunition that has moved in interstate or foreign commerce.

SAEZ has been detained since his arrest.  On September 9, 2014, he pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and one count of possession with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin.

More than 20 individuals have been charged with narcotics distribution and related offenses as a result of this investigation.  Fernandez, Colon and Rivera-Baron have pleaded guilty and await sentencing.

This investigation has been led by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Hartford Task Force, including personnel from the DEA Hartford Resident Office and the Bristol, Hartford, Manchester, New Britain, Newington, and Wethersfield Police Departments.  Agencies assisting the investigation include the DEA in New Haven, Bridgeport, Los Angeles and Panama, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Connecticut State Police, State of Connecticut Office of Adult Probation, and the Hartford, East Hartford and New Britain Police Departments.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys S. Dave Vatti and Gabriel J. Vidoni.


Tom Carson
(203) 821-3722

Updated March 18, 2015