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Press Release

Waterbury Man Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison for Fentanyl Distribution and Gun Possession Offenses

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

Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that, on June 2, 2023, ALEX REYES, also known as “A.J.,” 26, of Waterbury, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea in Hartford to an effective term of imprisonment of 60 months, followed by three years of supervised release, for illegally possessing a firearm.

Judge Shea sentenced Reyes to 39 months of imprisonment.  Reyes has been detained in state custody since August 2021 and he will not receive credit on his federal sentence for his time served to date.

According to court documents and statements made in court, this matter stems from an ongoing investigation into gangs, drug trafficking and the illegal possession of firearms in Waterbury.  The investigation revealed that Reyes and his associate, Julian Goodman, were distributing fentanyl and heroin.  On August 26, 2021, Waterbury Police attempted to execute search warrants for Reyes’s residence and person.  Reyes, who was sitting in his car as officers approached, fled the scene and struck two police vehicles.  He was located later that day using Goodman’s vehicle.  After Reyes was apprehended, a search of his person revealed a 9mm handgun and $1,433 in cash, and a search of Goodman’s vehicle revealed more than 80 grams of fentanyl, drug packaging materials, multiple cell phones, and $3,492 in cash.  Goodman was apprehended a short distance away.

In 2016, Reyes was convicted in state court of drug and firearm offenses.  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.

On December 13, 2022, Reyes pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Reyes has been detained since his arrest.

Goodman has pleaded guilty and awaits sentencing.

This investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Northern Connecticut Gang Task Force; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Connecticut State Police; the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Police; the Waterbury Police Department; the Wolcott Police Department; and the Connecticut Department of Correction.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Natasha M. Freismuth and John T. Pierpont, Jr.

U.S. Attorney Avery thanked the State’s Attorney’s Office for the Judicial District of Waterbury for its close cooperation in investigating and prosecuting this matter.

The prosecution is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. In May 2021, the Justice Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

Updated June 5, 2023

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses