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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Connecticut

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 24, 2022

Man Who Trafficked Deadly Fentanyl Sentenced to 14 Years in Federal Prison

Leonard C Boyle, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that MICHAEL NIEVES, 30, of Hartford, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Robert N. Chatigny in Hartford to 168 months of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release, for trafficking fentanyl.

According to court documents and statements made in court, the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force and the Norwich Police Department launched an investigation after several fatal and non-fatal overdoses occurred in a short period of time in eastern Connecticut.  Investigators determined that, beginning at least as early as January 2017 and continuing to July 2018, Nieves worked with Juan Reyes to supply heroin and fentanyl to other distributors, including individuals who regularly traveled from eastern Connecticut to Hartford to purchase the drugs.  Those individuals then sold the drug to customers in the Norwich and New London areas.

On July 5, 2017, Norwich Police officers responded to a residence on the report of an overdose.  The victim, a 34-year-old male, was transported to the hospital where he died.  The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner subsequently determined the victim’s cause of death to be “acute fentanyl intoxication.”  The investigation revealed that Christopher Dubicki, of Norwich, sold the fentanyl to the victim after previously purchasing it from Nieves and Reyes.

Investigators have connected six other overdoses, three fatal and three non-fatal, to drugs that were supplied by Nieves and Reyes.

Nieves has been detained since his arrest on June 5, 2018.  On June 29, 2021, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl.

Reyes, last residing in West Hartford, pleaded guilty to the same charge on June 9, 2021.  On October 26, he was sentenced to 151 months of imprisonment and followed by five years of supervised release.

Dubicki pleaded guilty to fentanyl, heroin and cocaine distribution charges and is detained while awaiting sentencing.

This investigation has been conducted by the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force and the Norwich Police Department.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patricia Stolfi Collins.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Opioids
Component(s): 
Updated February 24, 2022