On June 28, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut announced an indictment charging sixteen individuals with a variety of federal crimes relating to the distribution of narcotics and the possession of firearms. The charges are extremely serious and carry lengthy potential jail sentences.
The indictment charges the following individuals:
LUIS FELICIANO, a.k.a. “Louminaty,” 38, of East Hartford
JOSE TIRADO, a.k.a. “Joselito” and “Leet,” 41, of Hartford
CARL JONES, a.k.a. “M.O.B.,” 41, of Hartford
LUIS ROBLES, a.k.a. “Lou,” 25, of Hartford
ROBERTO DIAZ, a.k.a. “Dragon Eyes,” 52, of West Hartford
MILTON ROSARIO, a.k.a. “Little,” 39, of Hartford
ANGEL DELGADO, 58, of Hartford
MARTIN MALDONADO, 33, of Hartford
JEREMY OZUNA, 27, of New Jersey
ROBERT VALLE, 58, of Schenectady, New York
MARSHA WATSON, 33, of Bangor, Maine
DEVIN TEXIRA, a.k.a. “LV,” 25, of Hartford
JOSHUA RODRIGUEZ, 31, of Hartford
JOEL DELEON, JR., a.k.a. “Psycho,” 41, of Hartford
HERIBERTO MENDEZ, a.k.a. “Big Ed,” 43, of Hartford
CHRISTOPHER GILLIARD, a.k.a. “CJ” and “Gilly,” 34, of Hartford.
They are charged with violations of 21 U.S.C. Section 846 (a conspiracy to distribute narcotics, meaning a working agreement to do a crime together) and violations of 21 U.S.C. Section 841. The seriousness of the latter charge depends on the quantity of the drugs for which the conspirators are responsible (or at least, the amount that was reasonably foreseeable to them as conspirators), with the most serious charge being 21 USC Section 841(a)(1)(A). That latter charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison. Other federal drug charges under Section 841 carry 5 year mandatory minimum sentences, and others have no mandatory minimum at all (though there could be a twenty-year maximum).
Several of the defendants are also charged with various firearms offenses. The 922g charge in this indictment means possession of a firearm by a “prohibited person,” which in this case means a person with a prior felony conviction. The 924c charge relates to the possession or use of a firearm in furtherance of a narcotics-related crime. So, just having access to the gun while operating as a drug dealer can be sufficient evidence of guilt for this crime. It could carry a potential five-year sentence to run consecutive to any narcotics-related sentence.
Notably, the press release explains that this case involves a significant quantity of fentanyl. That drug is oftentimes used to lace other drugs, make counterfeit pills (fake Xanax or Oxycodone), and all-too-often causes fatal overdoses. As such, the penalties for fentanyl can be significant, and individuals convicted of trafficking fentanyl may not be eligible for certain credits for early release from prison.
If you or a loved one have been charged with violating the federal narcotics or firearm laws, you should strongly consider contacting Matthew Galluzzo. He is a federal criminal defense attorney based in New York and Connecticut and former Manhattan prosecutor.