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Press Release

Member of New Haven Heroin and Cocaine Trafficking Ring Sentenced to 5 Years in Federal Prison

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

John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that, on June 14, 2019, SAMUEL CRUZ, 41, of New Haven, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport to 60 months of imprisonment, followed by four years of supervised release, for trafficking heroin and cocaine.

This matter stems from a joint investigation headed by the DEA New Haven Task Force, FBI and New Haven Police Department into a New Haven-based drug trafficking organization that acquired and distributed heroin and cocaine.  According to court documents and statements made in court, on multiple occasions between December 2017 and March 2018, Cruz was intercepted on a court-authorized wiretap obtaining heroin and cocaine from another member of the conspiracy.  He then distributed the drugs to his own customers.

On April 19, 2018, a grand jury in New Haven returned an indictment charging Cruz and 18 other individuals with narcotics trafficking offenses.  Cruz has been detained since his arrest on April 25, 2019.  On March 14, 2019, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine. 

During the investigation, law enforcement officers seized more than 500 grams of heroin, more than 300 grams of fentanyl, more than one kilogram of cocaine, three firearms, over $90,000 in cash, vehicles, jewelry and precious metals.

The DEA New Haven Task Force includes participants from the U.S. Marshals Service, Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division, and the New Haven, Hamden, West Haven, North Haven, Branford, Ansonia, Meriden, Derby, Middletown, Naugatuck and Waterbury Police Departments.  The Connecticut Department of Correction, Milford Police Department and East Haven Police Department have assisted the investigation.

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

Updated June 17, 2019

Asset Forfeiture
Drug Trafficking