Nineteen Charged After FBI Task Force Investigation into Gang-Related Drug Trafficking in Hartford
|U.S. Attorney’s Office April 11, 2013|
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut; Kimberly K. Mertz, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Hartford Police Chief James C. Rovella today announced that 19 individuals have been charged with federal narcotics offenses related to the distribution of heroin and cocaine in and around Hartford. Seventeen individuals were arrested this morning, and two are currently being sought by law enforcement.
Today’s arrests stem from Operation Solid Sweep, a joint law enforcement investigation headed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes Task Force and the Hartford Police Department’s Vice and Narcotics Squad targeting gang-related narcotics trafficking in Hartford’s South End. The investigation included the use of court-authorized wiretaps, controlled purchases of narcotics and physical surveillance.
In association with today’s arrests, law enforcement officers executed multiple search warrants and seized narcotics, one firearm, approximately $200,000 in cash, and three vehicles.
“I want to commend the excellent work and full commitment of the FBI, Hartford Police Department, Connecticut State Police, and all of our law enforcement partners who participated in this successful investigation and assisted with today’s arrests,” stated U.S. Attorney Fein. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to using the full weight of federal law to prosecute narcotics traffickers to make our communities safer.”
“Operation Solid Sweep has effectively disrupted a criminal enterprise that, as we allege, involved members of the Los Solidos gang and others who were responsible for an extensive narcotics trafficking operation in Hartford’s south end,” stated FBI Special Agent in Charge Mertz. “Together with our federal, state, and local partners, the FBI led Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes Gang Task Force will continue to combat gang activity in order to reduce violence throughout the region.”
As alleged in a criminal complaint unsealed today in Hartford federal court, the investigation revealed that Angel Rosa, also known as “Little,” of New Britain, is a member of the Los Solidos street gang and the head of a drug trafficking organization that distributed heroin and cocaine from 584 Zion Street in Hartford. Little’s brother, Angel Rosa, also known as “Mo Betta” and “Fab,” oversaw and supervised the narcotics operation by ensuring that organization’s distribution locations were adequately supplied, and by coordinating a network of individuals who sold heroin and cocaine to customers. The investigation also revealed that the organization used residences on Gilman Street, Campfield Avenue and Zion Street in Hartford to store and distribute narcotics.
The criminal complaint charges the following 19 individuals with conspiring to distribute heroin and/or cocaine:
- ANGEL ROSA, a.k.a. “Mo Betta” and “Fab,” 42 of Sherbrooke Ave., Hartford,
- ANGEL ROSA, a.k.a “Little,” 36, of Maple Street, New Britain,
- ANGEL ROSA, a.k.a. “Booby,” 20 of Park Ave., East Hartford,
- ANGEL ROSA, a.k.a. “Bebo,” 18, of Maple Street, New Britain,
- JOSE ROSA, a.k.a. “Joselito,” 25, of Zion Street, Hartford
- HECTOR QUINONES, a.k.a. “Jumbe,” 51 of Wethersfield Ave., Hartford,
- OTILIA DIAZ, 37, of Campfield Ave., Hartford,
- JOSE NEGRON*, a.k.a. “Chino,” 28, of Folly Brook Drive, Wethersfield,
- IRAN NEGRON, a.k.a. “Face,” “Cara,” and “Pete,” 44, of Gilman Street, Hartford,
- JARED PENNELL, 29, of Norwich-New London Turnpike, Uncasville,
- ANDREW MORRISON, 23 of Zion Street, Hartford,
- ORLANDO TORRES, a.k.a. “Menor,” 26, of Zion Street, Hartford,
- NORMA TORRES, 56, of Zion Street, Hartford,
- NATIVIDAD MENDEZ, a.k.a. “Coca,” 36, of Maple Street, New Britain,
- LUIS ANTONIO MENDEZ*, 31 of Brown Street, Hartford,
- ANTONIO SANCHEZ, a.k.a. “Cano,” 38, of Madison Street, Hartford,
- FLORENCIO ORTIZ, a.k.a. “Pacheco,” 55, of Ellis Street, New Britain,
- JERRY MERCADO, 27, of Zion Street, Hartford,
- NORMAN BARNABY, 32, of Robin Road, Windsor Locks.
(*Jose Negron and Luis Antonio Mendez are currently being sought by law enforcement.)
The individuals arrested today appeared before United States Magistrate Judge Thomas P. Smith in Hartford. Based on the quantity of narcotics involved in this conspiracy, the government is seeking pre-trial detention on the majority of the defendants who, if convicted, face mandatory minimum terms of imprisonment of five or 10 years.
U.S. Attorney Fein stressed that a complaint is only a charge and 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 Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes Task Force, which includes members of the Connecticut State Police, Hartford Police Department, Connecticut Department of Correction, and Connecticut National Guard. The Connecticut State Police’s Emergency Services Unit, Hartford Police Department’s Emergency Response Team, Capital Region Emergency Response Team, Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations, and the New Britain, East Hartford, and Wethersfield Police Departments have provided valuable assistance to the investigation by assisting with today’s arrests.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Brian P. Leaming.