Indictment Charges Five Hartford-Area Men with Heroin Trafficking Offenses
|U.S. Attorney’s Office March 27, 2014|
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut; Patricia M. Ferrick, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; John J. Arvanitis, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration in New England; and Hartford Police Chief James C. Rovella, today announced that a federal grand jury sitting in New Haven has returned an indictment charging five men with narcotics offenses in connection with their alleged involvement in a Hartford area heroin trafficking conspiracy. The indictment was returned on March 25.
The 12-count indictment alleges that from approximately November 2013 through March 2014, the following individuals conspired to distribute various quantities of heroin:
- Francisco Bigio, also known as “Flaco,” 34, of East Hartford
- Charles Jackson, also known as “Doo Doo,” 44, of Manchester
- Carlos Cardona, also known as “Los,” 29, of Hartford
- Christopher Cardona, also known as “Tito,” 27, of Hartford
- Antonio Baez, also known as “Pete,” 39, of Hartford
The five defendants were arrested earlier this month on criminal complaints and are currently detained.
According to court documents filed as part of this case, this joint investigation focused on the distribution of heroin that is believed to have been laced with Fentanyl and may have contributed to several recent heroin overdoses in the Hartford area.
Fentanyl is a powerful opioid analgesic used to treat moderate to severe chronic pain that cannot be controlled with other medicines. It is approximately 100 times more potent than morphine.
U.S. Attorney Daly noted that the investigation is ongoing and investigators are in the process of determining if the heroin involved in this conspiracy contained Fentanyl and if a connection to the reported overdoses exists.
In addition to being charged with conspiracy, Bigio is charged with multiple counts of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of cocaine. It is alleged that Bigio was found in possession of two kilograms of cocaine at the time of his arrest.
Carlos Cardona, Christopher Cardona, and Baez are also charged with multiple counts of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of heroin.
If convicted of the charge of conspiring to distribute heroin, Bigio faces a maximum term of imprisonment of life, Jackson, Carlos Cardona, and Christopher Cardona face a maximum term of imprisonment of 40 years, and Baez faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.
Bigio and Jackson are both serving terms of federal supervised release and face enhanced penalties if convicted of the charges contained in the indictment.
This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Hartford Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brian Leaming and Patrick Caruso.
U.S. Attorney Daly stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.