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Press Release

Indictment Charges 8 Connecticut Residents with Cocaine Trafficking Offenses

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

John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, Michael J. Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England and Shelly A. Binkowski, Inspector in Charge for the Boston Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, today announced that, on October 18, 2017, a grand jury in New Haven returned seven-count indictment charging the following eight individuals with cocaine trafficking offenses:

LUIS CIRINO, a.k.a. “Gordo” and “G,” 40, of New Britain
MICHAEL RIVERA, 23, of New Britain
ANGEL SALINAS, a.k.a. “Chino,” 21, of Waterbury
JAVIER VASQUEZ, 46, of Willimantic
ANGEL CRUZ, 43, of New Britain
JASMINE DELGADO, 27, of Middletown
OMAR RIVERA, a.k.a. “O,” 34, of New Britain

The indictment stems from an ongoing investigation headed by the DEA New Haven Task Force and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service that has included the use of court-authorized wiretaps and the seizure of more than 12 kilograms of cocaine.  According to statements made in court, it is alleged that Luis Cirino, of New Britain, coordinated the shipment of multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine through the U.S. Mail from Puerto Rico to various locations in Connecticut.  Cirino, who was assisted by individuals who received the cocaine on his behalf, then distributed the drug in Connecticut with the assistance of Michael Rivera, Angel Cruz and Omar Rivera, all of New Britain.

Cirino, Michael Rivera, Salinas, Cruz, Filomeno-Gomez and Delgado were arrested on October 25 and Vasquez was arrested on October 27.

Omar Rivera, who is charged in two pending, related indictments, has been detained since his arrest on July 26.  It is alleged that Omar Rivera also received cocaine from Orlando Quiros, also known as “O” and “Gordo,” of Suffield, and supplied cocaine received from both Quiros and Cirino to Westley Northrup, also known as “Piff,” formerly of Meriden.  Northrup operated a cocaine and crack cocaine trafficking ring while he was incarcerated in state custody.  The two related indictments charge a total of 17 individuals.

Each of the defendants in the Cirino, et al, indictment are charged with conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute cocaine.  If convicted of this charge, based on their conduct and the quantity of cocaine involved in the conspiracy, Cirino, Michael Rivera and Salinas face a minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life.  Vasquez, Cruz, Filomeno-Gomez, Delgado and Rivera face a minimum term of imprisonment of five years and a maximum term of imprisonment of 40 years.  Each defendant, with the exception of Salinas and Cruz, is also charged with one or more counts of possession, or attempted possession, with intent to distribute cocaine. 

Cirino, who is on federal supervised release from a prior federal conviction in the District of Connecticut, faces an additional term of imprisonment if he is found to have violated the conditions of his supervised release.

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 matter is being investigated by the DEA New Haven Task Force, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Middletown and New Britain Police Departments.  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 U.S. Marshals Service, ATF, FBI and the Suffield, Bloomfield and Springfield (Mass.) Police Departments have assisted the investigation.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney H. Gordon Hall.

Updated October 30, 2017

Drug Trafficking