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Press Release

Hartford Woman Involved in Fentanyl Trafficking Ring Sentenced to 5 Years in Federal Prison

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

Leonard C Boyle, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that JANICETTE REYES, 43, of Hartford, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea in Hartford to 60 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for distributing fentanyl.

According to court documents and statements made in court, in 2018, the FBI’s Northern Connecticut Gang Task Force began investigating Ricardo Reyes, also known as “Rick the Ruler,” a member of the Los Solidos street gang who was distributing fentanyl, heroin, cocaine and crack in the area of Park Street and Hungerford Street in Hartford.  During the investigation, law enforcement conducted multiple controlled purchases of narcotics from Ricardo Reyes.  Court-authorized wiretaps confirmed that he was distributing narcotics to numerous customers, and identified individuals who supplied drugs to him, as well as associates who sold drugs on his behalf.  Intercepted communications also revealed that Ricardo Reyes was acquiring and trafficking firearms.

Janicette Reyes, who is Ricardo Reyes’ sister, used a Rowe Avenue residence she shared with Johnny Ortega, also known as “Clatcho,” to store, process and package fentanyl for distribution, and she delivered fentanyl to customers at Ricardo Reyes’ direction.

On April 22, 2019, Ricardo Reyes was arrested on state charges after he used a straw purchaser to purchase two handguns from a licensed gun dealer in Newington.  After the purchase, investigators conducted a traffic stop of Ricardo Reyes’ vehicle in New Britain and seized the two firearms.  A search of the vehicle also revealed approximately 450 bags of suspected heroin/fentanyl, more than one pound of marijuana, and $1,160 in cash.  While Ricardo Reyes was detained in state custody, Janicette Reyes continued to service Ricardo Reyes’ drug customers.

Janicette Reyes was arrested on June 17, 2019.  On that date, a court-authorized search of her Rowe Avenue revealed approximately 3,450 dose-bags of fentanyl, narcotics paraphernalia, a loaded Glock .40 caliber pistol, and ammunition.

On June 27, 2019, a grand jury Hartford returned a 32-count indictment charging Ricardo Reyes, Janicette Reyes, Ortega and 12 associates with various narcotics trafficking and firearm possession offenses.   On October 1, 2021, she pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute fentanyl.

Reyes, who is released on a $200,000 bond, is required to report to prison on June 24, 2022.

Ricardo Reyes and Ortega pleaded guilty to related charges.  On February 11, 2021, Ricardo Reyes was sentenced to 18 years of imprisonment.  On December 27, 2021, Ortega was sentenced to 60 months of imprisonment.

The FBI’s Northern Connecticut Gang Task Force includes members of the Hartford Police Department, East Hartford Police Department, New Britain Police Department, West Hartford Police Department, Connecticut State Police and Connecticut Department of Correction.  The Hartford Police Department’s Vice and Narcotics Division provided valuable assistance to the investigation.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian P. Leaming through the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Program.  OCDETF identifies, disrupts and dismantles drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs and transnational criminal organizations through a prosecutor-led and intelligence-driven approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.  Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at

Updated March 23, 2022

Drug Trafficking