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Press Release

Indictment Charges California Man with Fentanyl Trafficking Offenses

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

Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Michael J. Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England, today announced that a federal grand jury in Bridgeport returned an indictment yesterday charging OMAR VILLARREAL, 26, of La Puente, California, with fentanyl trafficking offenses.

As alleged in court documents, on December 21, 2016, law enforcement officers stopped a tractor trailer in Route 34 in Derby.  A search of the cab of the tractor trailer revealed a box that contained 25 kilograms of fentanyl.  The driver of the vehicle, Erick Crespo-Escalante, was placed under arrest.  The investigation revealed that Crespo-Escalante was delivering the shipment of fentanyl to a location in Waterbury.

It is alleged that VILLARREAL traveled to Connecticut from October to November 2016 and coordinated the transportation and delivery of the fentanyl shipment with Crespo-Escalante.

The indictment charges VILLARREAL with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, a controlled substance, and one count of aiding and abetting the distribution of fentanyl.  Both offenses carry a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.  The indictment also charges VILLARREAL with one count of traveling in interstate commerce to promote an unlawful activity, and offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years.

VILLARREAL has been detained since his arrest on May 15, 2017.

On April 4, 2017, Crespo-Escalante pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, fentanyl.  He awaits sentencing.

As to VILLARREAL, U.S. Attorney Daly stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt.  Charges are only allegations, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This matter is being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Haven Task Force and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert M. Spector.

Updated September 28, 2017

Drug Trafficking