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Press Release

West Hartford Man Sentenced to 7 Years in Prison for Trafficking Cocaine, Violating Supervised Release

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

John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that MANUEL SANTIAGO, also known as “Pete” and “Green-eyed Pete,” 51, last residing in West Hartford, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Jeffrey A. Meyer to 84 months of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release, for trafficking cocaine, and for violating the conditions of his supervised release from a prior federal conviction.

Pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the sentencing occurred via videoconference.

According to court documents and statements made in court, in August 2019, the FBI’s Northern Connecticut Gang Task Force received information that Santiago was distributing half-kilogram quantities of cocaine.  Investigators knew that Santiago had a history as a large-scale narcotics supplier and that he was on federal supervised release following his 2013 convictions for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and money laundering.

On August 14, 2019, investigators arranged a controlled purchase of a half-kilogram of cocaine from Santiago.  Santiago was arrested at approximately 7:40 that evening after he arrived at a gas station parking lot in Hartford to complete the transaction.  A search of Santiago’s vehicle revealed a ziplock bag containing approximately 514 grams of cocaine.

A subsequent search of Santiago’s residence revealed approximately four kilograms of cocaine.

Santiago has been detained since his arrest.  On October 8, 2020, he pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine.

The FBI’s Northern Connecticut Gang Task Force includes members of the Hartford Police Department, East Hartford Police Department, New Britain Police Department, West Hartford Police Department, Connecticut State Police and Connecticut Department of Correction.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian P. Leaming.

Updated January 7, 2021

Drug Trafficking