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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Hartford Men Charged with Selling Fentanyl, Crack

12 guns seized during joint FBI Task Force and HPD operation

John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, David Sundberg, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Hartford Police Chief Jason Thody announced that four Hartford residents were arrested today on federal criminal complaints charging them with narcotics distribution offenses.  During today’s joint operation, investigators also found and seized 12 firearms.

The following individuals were arrested today:

ANTHONY DONES, also known as “Ant,” 38
JUAN LAUREANO, also known as “Pito,” 40
EDIL RAMOS, also known as “E,” 38
ELIAS GUZMAN, also known as “Bebo” and “Fat Boy,” 28

As alleged in court documents and statements made in court, the FBI’s Northern Connecticut Gang Task Force and Hartford Police Department have been investigating drug trafficking and related criminal acts being committed by members and associates of the Los Solidos and Latin Kings street gangs in Hartford’s South End.  In recent months, investigators have conducted multiple controlled purchases of fentanyl from Dones and his associate, Laureano, in the vicinity of Dones’ Montrose Street residence; fentanyl and crack cocaine from Ramos at his Wethersfield Avenue residence, and fentanyl and crack cocaine from Guzman on Benton Street.

Dones and Laureano were arrested at Dones’ residence.  A search of the residence revealed a loaded .45 caliber pistol and drug packaging material.

A search of Ramos’ residence revealed a loaded 9mm firearm, approximately 1,200 bags of fentanyl, a distribution quantity of crack cocaine and approximately $33,000 in cash.

Guzman was arrested at his residence on Flatbush Avenue.

As part of today’s operation, investigators conducted a court-authorized search of a residence on Franklin Avenue and seized an additional 10 handguns, including several that had been reported stolen.

Dones and Laureano are charged with possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, fentanyl, and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and distribution, of fentanyl.  Ramos and Guzman are charged with possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, fentanyl and cocaine base (“crack cocaine”).

Pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the defendants were presented in court via videoconference and were ordered detained pending detention hearings that are scheduled for next week.

“These are difficult times for all of us, and I want to commend the FBI Task Force, Hartford Police Department and all members of law enforcement who, at increased personal risk, are working to keep us safe,” said U.S. Attorney Durham.  “In recent months, shootings and fentanyl-related overdose deaths have been on the rise in our capitol city.  Disrupting fentanyl trafficking networks and removing illegal guns from the street saves lives and, despite the significant obstacles posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to actively investigate and intend to aggressively prosecute those whose criminal activities endanger life in our communities.”

“During these challenging times, we continue to work around the clock seven days a week,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Sundberg.”  Today’s arrest and confiscation of guns and narcotics is a direct result of the hard work of local and federal law enforcement working together to reduce gun violence in our communities.”

“I would like to commend the extraordinary work of everyone involved in today’s arrests and seizures,” said Chief Thody.  “These law enforcement officers were clearly at an elevated risk today, but still put themselves in harm’s way to make our city a safer place.  Along with our federal, state and local partners, we will continue to focus our efforts on those that perpetuate violent behavior.”

U.S. Attorney Durham stressed that a complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.  Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The FBI’s Northern Connecticut Gang Task Force includes members of the 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): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking
Opioids
Firearms Offenses
Component(s): 
Updated April 8, 2020