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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Hartford Man Who Distributed Fentanyl is Sentenced

John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that MELVIN CORREA, 51, of Hartford, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Jeffrey A. Meyer in New Haven to approximately five months of imprisonment, time already served, and five years of supervised release, for distributing fentanyl.

According to court documents and statements made in court, between September 24 and October 9, 2016, overdose deaths in Southington, Montville, Manchester and East Hartford were connected to heroin/fentanyl being distributed in dose bags marked with a specific brand stamp.  In late October 2016, law enforcement learned that CORREA was selling fentanyl in bags marked with the same brand stamp in Hartford.

On November 3, 2016, as part of a controlled purchase of heroin/fentanyl, CORREA told an undercover police officer that he had bags of the drug marked with the same brand stamp, but cautioned that it was “good stuff” and “real strong,” and that someone had died two days earlier by overdosing on it.  Later that day, the undercover officer met CORREA at 109 Franklin Avenue and purchased 200 bags of “heroin” for $600.  On November 7, 2016, the undercover officer purchased another 300 bags of the drug from CORREA for $900.  The bags bore the same brand stamp on those recovered from the scenes of the identified overdose deaths.

Subsequent laboratory testing of the purchased drugs revealed that the bags contained only fentanyl

As investigators sought to identify CORREA’s source of supply, they made additional purchases of fentanyl from CORREA.  During some of the transactions, CORREA was assisted by his associate, Jovii Valentin.

CORREA and Valentin were arrested on December 22, 2016.

CORREA was detained until his release on bond on May 25, 2017.  On November 2, 2017, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, fentanyl. 

Valentin pleaded guilty to the same charge on November 8, 2017, and awaits sentencing.  He has been detained since his arrest.

This matter was investigated by the FBI’s Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes Task Force and the Hartford Police Department.  The FBI Task Force includes members of the FBI, Hartford Police Department, East Hartford Police Department, Connecticut State Police and Connecticut Department of Correction.

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

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Opioids
Component(s): 
Updated May 23, 2018