Manchester Man Pleads Guilty to Drug and Gun Charges Stemming from Hartford Car Wash Shooting
John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that HECTOR ALFONSO, 37, of Manchester, pleaded guilty yesterday in New Haven federal court to drug and firearm offenses related to a shooting that occurred in Hartford’s South End in December 2016.
According to court documents and statements made in court, at approximately 10:00 p.m. on December 21, 2016, Hartford Police officers responded to a report of a person shot at a car wash located at 156 Franklin Avenue in Hartford. At the car wash, officers encountered an employee of the car wash who was suffering from two gunshot wounds. The victim was transported to the hospital where he was treated for his injuries and released.
The investigation, which has included analysis of a surveillance video, revealed that, shortly before the shooting, Alfonso and Michael Rivera arrived at the car wash to acquire a distribution quantity of heroin from Ruben Rodriguez and another individual. A dispute and subsequent struggle occurred during the transaction, and Alfonso brandished a firearm. He then shot the employee.
Alfonso was arrested on a federal criminal complaint on April 26, 2017. A search of his Manchester residence on that date revealed cocaine residue on a toilet seat, cocaine and crack cocaine residue in another part of home, and items used to process and package narcotics for street sale. He has been detained since his arrest.
Alfonso pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years, and one count of brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime, an offense that carries a mandatory consecutive term of imprisonment of at least seven years. Alfonso is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton on February 12, 2019.
Alfonso’s criminal history includes a federal conviction for possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, cocaine base (“crack”). In June 2014, he was sentenced to 18 months of imprisonment and three years of supervised release for that offense.
Alfonso faces additional penalties for violating the conditions of his supervised release from his prior federal conviction.
Michael Rivera, 35, of Hartford, and Ruben Rodriguez, 38, of Meriden, have pleaded guilty to related charges and are detained while awaiting sentencing.
When Rodriguez was arrested on September 29, 2017, a search of his residence and vehicle revealed a loaded .40 caliber pistol, numerous rounds of ammunition, approximately 133 grams of heroin, approximately 170 grams of cocaine, and $61,909 in cash.
This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Hartford Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian P. Leaming.
This prosecution has been brought through Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make neighborhoods safer for everyone.