Man Pleads Guilty to Distributing Fentanyl While Released on Bond in Federal Gun Case
Leonard C Boyle, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that BRIAN VELEZ, also known as “Whites,” 32, formerly of Hartford and West Hartford, pleaded guilty today to distributing fentanyl while released on bond in a federal gun case.
Pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the court proceeding before U.S. Magistrate Judge Donna F. Martinez occurred via videoconference.
According to court documents and statements made in court, at approximately 10:20 a.m. on November 27, 2018, a car Velez was operating sped away from Hartford Police officers who were attempting to stop the vehicle in Hartford’s South End. Velez parked in a driveway of a residence on Newbury Street and then ran from the car while carrying a duffel bag. After Velez was apprehended, a detective located the duffel bag in Velez’s path of travel. The bag contained a disassembled Ruger AR 556 semi-automatic rifle.
Velez was detained from the date of his arrest until April 2, 2019, when he was released on a $100,000 bond.
In January 2020, law enforcement received information that Velez was involved in ongoing criminal activity, including the distribution of narcotics. On January 28, 2020, investigators conducted a controlled purchase of 20 bags of fentanyl from Velez in Hartford.
On January 29, 2020, Velez pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a felon, stemming from his arrest in November 2018.
Velez has been detained since March 12, 2020, after he was arrested on a criminal complaint charging him with distributing fentanyl.
Velez is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant on July 7, 2021, at which time he faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years for unlawfully possessing a firearm, and a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years for distributing fentanyl while on release in a pending federal case.
This investigation has been conducted by the FBI’s Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes Gang Task Force, the FBI’s Connecticut Violent Crime Task Force, and the Hartford Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian P. Leaming.