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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 20, 2014

New London Man Pleads Guilty To Cocaine Charges


Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that EDGARDO CENTENO, 43, of New London, pleaded guilty yesterday in Hartford federal court to conspiring to distribute cocaine in southeastern Connecticut. 

According to court documents and statements made in court, in early 2012, Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), the U.S. Secret Service and the New London Police Department initiated an investigation to combat the large-scale trafficking of heroin and cocaine from the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico into and around southeastern Connecticut.  The investigation revealed that certain members of the conspiracy coordinated the shipment of heroin, and sometimes cocaine, via human couriers from the Dominican Republic to the United States.  Other members of the conspiracy obtained kilogram-quantities of cocaine in Puerto Rico and then mailed the drug to locations in and around New London where it was sold to distributors and customers.  Narcotics were also obtained from sources in New York City and Rhode Island.

More than 100 individuals were charged with federal and state offenses as a result of this investigation.

According to statements made in court, CENTENO, who pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine, received quantities of cocaine from Juan Cheverez in deals arranged over their cellular telephones.  Cheverez received kilogram-quantities of cocaine through the United States Mail via a source in Puerto Rico. 

CENTENO is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant on November 5, 2014, at which time he faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.  

Cheverez pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges on March 19, 2014, and awaits sentencing. 

This matter is being investigated by Homeland Security Investigations; U.S. Secret Service; U.S. Postal Inspection Service; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Air and Marine; Connecticut State Police; New London Police Department, Norwich Police Department, Waterford Police Department, Groton Town Police Department, East Lyme Police Department and Putnam Police Department.  The United States Marshals Service; ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations; Drug Enforcement Administration; HSI Assistant Attaché, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; HSI Arecibo, Puerto Rico Resident Office;  Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation; Connecticut Department of Correction, Parole and Community Services; and the Groton City, Willimantic, New Haven and Bristol Police Departments have provided valuable assistance to the investigation.

The federal case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alina P. Reynolds, Sarah P. Karwan and Henry K. Kopel.  The state cases are being prosecuted by the State’s Attorney for the New London Judicial District and Senior Assistant State’s Attorneys Paul Narducci and Stephen Carney.

PUBLIC AFFAIRS CONTACT:

U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE
Tom Carson
(203) 821-3722
thomas.carson@usdoj.gov

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Updated March 18, 2015