Stamford Men Charged with Trafficking Counterfeit Oxycodone Pills Containing Fentanyl Analogues
John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, Joseph W. Cronin, Inspector in Charge of the Boston Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England, and Stamford Police Chief Jonathan Fontneau today announced the unsealing of three-count indictment charging VINCENT DECARO, 29, ARBER ISAKU, 29 and DAVID REICHARD, 30, all of Stamford, with offenses related to the trafficking of fentanyl analogues.
The indictment was returned on August 7, 2018. Decaro and Isaku, who were extradited from Albania, appeared today before U.S. Magistrate Judge William I. Garfinkel in Bridgeport and entered pleas of not guilty to the charges. They are detained pending trial.
As alleged in court documents and statements made in court, Decaro and Isaku purchased fentanyl analogues from suppliers in China and, working out of Decaro’s residence at 77 West Hill Circle in Stamford, pressed the drug into counterfeit oxycodone pills, which they sold to customers on dark web markets. Reichard, who lived for a short time at Decaro’s residence, helped Decaro and Isaku press pills and mail the pills to customers.
On April 3, 2018, a court-authorized search of Decaro’s Stamford residence revealed numerous pills containing approximately 330 grams of fentanyl and acetyl fentanyl, approximately 40 grams of fentanyl analogues in powder form, three pill presses, instructions on how to prepare the fentanyl analogue Carfentanil, a hazardous material suit, a gas/respirator-type mask, and numerous U.S. Postal mail envelopes.
Prior to that date, on August 23, 2017, Isaku was arrested by the Connecticut State Police after he accepted delivery of a package containing approximately 160 grams of fentanyl at his Mitchell Street residence in Stamford.
At the time of the search of Decaro’s home in April 2018, Decaro and Isaku were in Europe. They have been detained since September 21, 2018, when they were arrested by Albanian State Police as they were attempting to cross the border from Albania into Kosovo. A search of an apartment in Tirana where they had been staying revealed alprazolam, fentanyl and other controlled substances; tools and dies for pressing pills, and instructions for synthesizing fentanyl.
The indictment charges Decaro, Isaku and Reichard with one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of fentanyl analogues, and Decaro and Reichard with one count of possession with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of fentanyl analogues. Both offenses carry a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life. Isaku is also charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl analogues, and offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.
Reichard was arrested on a federal criminal complaint on April 13, 2018. He previously entered a plea of not guilty to the charges in the indictment.
U.S. Attorney Durham stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This matter is being investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Drug Enforcement Administration, Connecticut State Police and Stamford Police Department, with the assistance of the Albanian State Police. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas P. Morabito.
U.S. Attorney Durham thanked the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of International Affairs and Rome Attaché Cristina Posa for coordinating the extradition proceedings in this matter.