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Press Release

Waterford Man Sentenced to More Than 7 Years in Prison for Trafficking Cocaine

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

Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that LUIS ZAYAS, also known as “Guichan,” 40, of Waterford, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant in Hartford to 85 months of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release, for trafficking cocaine.

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.

ZAYAS and Pedro Rivera, also known as “Cheito,” arranged the shipment of cocaine from sources in Puerto Rico to the New London area.  ZAYAS and Rivera then distributed the cocaine to customers in southeastern Connecticut through a network of associates.

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

ZAYAS was arrested on April 3, 2013.  On January 29, 2015, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine.

Rivera also pleaded guilty and on December 9, 2015, he was sentenced to 116 months of imprisonment.

This matter was 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 was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sarah P. Karwan, Alina P. Reynolds and Henry K. Kopel.  The state cases were prosecuted by the State’s Attorney for the New London Judicial District and Senior Assistant State’s Attorneys Paul Narducci and Stephen Carney.

Updated October 6, 2016

Drug Trafficking