U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Connecticut
(203) 821-3700
May 28, 2014

Member of Hartford Drug Trafficking Ring Sentenced to Eight Years in Federal Prison

Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that Luis Antonio Mendez, 32, of Hartford, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea in Hartford to 96 months of imprisonment, followed by four years of supervised release, for his role in a Hartford-based narcotics trafficking ring.

According to court documents and statements made in court, this matter stems from a joint law enforcement investigation headed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes Task Force and the Hartford Police Department into gang-related narcotics trafficking in Hartford’s South End. The investigation specifically targeted a heroin and cocaine trafficking organization headed by Angel Rosa, also known as “Little” and “Daddy,” who is a member of the Los Solidos street gang, and his cousin, Angel Rosa, also known as “Mo Betta” and “Fab.” “Little” supervised the drug trafficking ring, which included several other family members, through fear and intimidation. “Mo Betta” managed the daily operations of the organization, facilitated the delivery and transportation of large quantities of heroin, and supervised numerous drug sellers who distributed heroin and other narcotics in the Zion Street area. At times, “Little” and “Mo Betta” used, or threatened to use, violence to ensure the success of the organization.

Mendez delivered substantial quantities of heroin for the Rosa drug trafficking organization.

As a result of the investigation, 21 individuals were charged with various federal offenses, and law enforcement officers seized narcotics, one firearm, approximately $230,000 in cash, eight vehicles, and jewelry.

While he was involved in this heroin trafficking conspiracy, Mendez was on probation for committing a robbery with a firearm in the area of 600 Zion Street. He was convicted of robbery in the first degree and was sentenced to 15 years in jail, suspended after seven years, and five years of probation. Mendez’s criminal history also includes convictions for assault, risk of injury to a minor, possession with intent to sell narcotics, and carrying a pistol without a permit.

Mendez has been detained since his arrest on April 17, 2013. On January 8, 2014, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute heroin.

Angel Rosa, aka “Little,” and Angel Rosa, aka “Mo Betta,” each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin. On May 15, 2014, “Little” was sentenced to 235 months of imprisonment, and on April 29, 2014, “Mo Betta” was sentenced to 165 months of imprisonment.

This matter was 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, East 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, Wethersfield, and Manchester Police Departments have provided valuable assistance to the investigation.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brian Leaming and Patrick Caruso.

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