Indictment Charges 19 Individuals with Heroin and Cocaine Trafficking Offenses
John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, Albert Angelucci, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England, Patricia Ferrick, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for Connecticut, and Anthony Campbell, Chief of the New Haven Police Department, today announced the unsealing of an indictment charging 19 individuals with federal narcotics offenses related to the trafficking of heroin and cocaine in Connecticut.
Seventeen of the 19 defendants were arrested yesterday, one defendant is in state custody, and one defendant is in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Michigan.
This matter stems from a joint investigation headed by the DEA New Haven Task Force, FBI and New Haven Police Department that has included the use of court-authorized wiretaps, controlled purchases of heroin and cocaine, and seizures of bulk heroin and cocaine. It is alleged that Duane Filyaw, of New Haven, operated a heroin and cocaine trafficking ring in which he conspired with others to purchase narcotics from suppliers and then distribute the drugs to other suppliers of street-level dealers in and around New Haven.
During the course of the investigation, law enforcement officers seized more than 200 grams of heroin and more than one kilogram of cocaine through supervised purchases and interdictions of on-going transactions. In association with today’s arrests and the execution of multiple search warrants, officers seized three firearms, approximately 360 grams of fentanyl, approximately 340 grams of suspected heroin, approximately 80 grams of cocaine, more than $90,000 in cash, vehicles, jewelry and precious metals.
On April 19, 2018, a grand jury in New Haven returned a six-count indictment charging
DUANE FILYAW, 34, of New Haven
NEFTALI FERNANDEZ, a.k.a. “Nef,” 31, of Meriden
LEON GREENE, a.k.a. “Gotti,” 43, of Cheshire
RAFAEL SERRANO, 43, of West Haven
SALVATORE ORSINI, 27, of West Haven
CHRISTOPHER SERRANO, a.k.a. “Mancho,” 34, of Milford
NORMAN EDGARDO PEREZ, a.k.a. “Rico,” of Oakland, Calif.
LORENZO MORALES-ARAMBULA, a.k.a. “Viejo,” 56, of Mexico (in ICE custody)
NATIVIDAD DIAZ, a.k.a. “Nat,” 34, of Meriden
JOHNATHAN BRITO, 24, of Waterbury
HARRISON ELBA, 27, of Simsbury
GABRIEL ROMERO ESCALERA, 27, of San Juan, P.R.
BIRL JACKSON, 36, of New Haven (in state custody)
STEVEN McCOY, a.k.a. “S Dot,” 25, of New Haven
STEPHEN JONES, a.k.a. “EVX” and “Stevie D,” 33, of New Haven
HAKEEM BASIR, a.k.a. “Neil Ford,” 54, of Waterbury
CARLOS OVALLE, a.k.a. “Carlos Tirado,” 46, of East Hartford
NIGEL JONES, 36, of New Haven
SAMUEL CRUZ, 40, of New Haven
Each of the defendants is charged with conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine. If convicted of this charge, based on the type and quantity of narcotics charged, Filyaw, Fernandez, Greene, Perez, Morales-Arambula, Diaz, Escalera and Ovalle face a minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life; Rafael Serrano, Orsini, Christopher Serrano, Brito, Elba, Jackson, McCoy, Stephen Jones, Basir and Cruz face a minimum term of imprisonment of five years and a maximum term of imprisonment of 40 years; and Nigel Jones faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.
The indictment also charges Rafael and Christopher Serrano, Fernandez, Filyaw, Orsini, Elba and Brito counts of possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, heroin or cocaine.
“As alleged, this drug trafficking organization, which used multiple sources of supply, has been responsible for the distribution of significant quantities of heroin and cocaine in Connecticut,” said U.S. Attorney Durham. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to working closely with the DEA, FBI, and our state and local law enforcement partners to disrupt drug networks – especially those that distribute heroin, fentanyl and other dangerous opioids – and prosecute those responsible.”
“DEA is committed to investigating and dismantling large scale poly drug trafficking organizations like this one operating in the New Haven area,” said DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge Albert Angelucci. “Let these arrests serve as an example to those who distribute heroin and cocaine in order to profit and destroy people’s lives, that DEA will aggressively pursue and hold you accountable. This investigation demonstrates the strength of collaborative law enforcement efforts in Connecticut and our strong partnership with the U. S. Attorney’s Office.”
“All illicit drugs being sold in our communities are a problem, but the illegal distribution of opioids has proven to be the greater issue here and across this country,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Ferrick. “We at the FBI along with the DEA, New Haven Police Department and many other law enforcement partners are once again proving that we will make illicit drug sales in our communities a priority. We will continue to dismantle groups like this in every city in our effort to save lives.”
“The New Haven Police Department is proud of the hard work put in by our officers and our state and federal partners in bringing those involved in illegal drug trade to justice,” said New Haven Police Chief Campbell. “Those that poison our kids and endanger our citizens deserve to be behind bars. We’re a safer city now that these arrests have been made.”
U.S. Attorney Durham stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This investigation is being led by the DEA New Haven Task Force, Federal Bureau of Investigation and New Haven Police Department. The DEA New Haven Task Force includes participants from the New Haven, Hamden, West Haven, North Haven, East Haven, Branford, Ansonia, Meriden and Derby Police Departments, and the U.S. Marshals Service. The Connecticut Department of Correction, Milford Police Department and East Haven Police Department are also assisting the investigation.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney H. Gordon Hall.