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Justice News

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

Thursday, April 10, 2014

New London Man Sentenced To 10 Years In Prison For Distributing Heroin, Possessing Firearms

Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that JOSE MORALES, 53, of New London, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton in New Haven to 120 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for distributing heroin and illegally possessing firearms.

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 Luis Ariel Capellan Maldonado, also known as “Ariel,” and his associates were receiving heroin from sources in the Dominican Republic and distributing it throughout New London County.  MORALES purchased raw heroin from Maldonado’s associate and sold it to his own customers, typically in quantities of five to ten grams at a time.

MORALES was arrested on April 3, 2013.  A search of his Willets Avenue residence on that date revealed a shotgun, a .22 caliber semi-automatic pistol, several rounds of ammunition, heroin packaging material and $940 in cash.

It is a violation of federal law for a person previously convicted of a felony offense to possess a firearm or ammunition that has moved in interstate or foreign commerce.

MORALES has been detained since his arrest.  On January 6, 2014, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute heroin.

MORALES has multiple prior felony convictions, including convictions for sexual assault, violating a protective order, threatening, robbery and larceny.

More than 100 individuals have been charged with federal and state offenses as a result of this investigation.  Maldonado has pleaded guilty 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 cases are 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.


Tom Carson
(203) 821-3722

Updated March 18, 2015