Indictment Charges 5 Men with Fentanyl Trafficking Offenses

Indictment Charges 5 Men with Fentanyl Trafficking Offenses

Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England, today announced that a federal grand jury in Hartford has returned an indictment charging the following five individuals with fentanyl trafficking offenses:

ADDELY ROSARIO-RAMIREZ, aka “Tata,” 24, a citizen of the Dominican Republic
LUIS ELVIS HERNANDEZ-RIVAS, aka “Compa,” 43, a citizen of the Dominican Republic
HUGO IVAN RAMIREZ-BELLOZO, 32, a citizen of Mexico
JUAN GONZALEZ-REYES, aka “Chinbala,” 32, of Hartford
MARIO PASCUAL-AQUINO, 42, of Torrington

The indictment was returned on November 30, 2022.  On December 13, the five defendants appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas O. Farrish in Hartford and pleaded not guilty to the charges.  Rosario-Ramirez, Hernandez-Rivas and Ramirez-Bellozo are detained, and Gonzalez-Reyes and Pasqual Aquino are released on $100,000 bonds.

As alleged in court documents, the DEA’s Hartford Task Force has been investigating a Hartford-based drug trafficking organization involved in the distribution of a large amount of fentanyl and other narcotics, and the transportation and laundering of cash proceeds from their drug trafficking activity. 

It is alleged that, in April 2021, Rosario-Ramirez provided more than $56,000 in suspected narcotics proceeds to an uncover law enforcement officer.  It is further alleged that, in January 2022, investigators coordinated a motor vehicle stop of a minivan Rosario-Ramirez was driving and seized $92,000 from a hidden compartment in the minivan.  Hernandez-Rivas was a passenger in the minivan at the time of the traffic stop.

On November 16, 2022, investigators executed a court-authorized search warrant at an apartment on Putnam Heights in Hartford and seized more than a kilogram of fentanyl, items used to process and package narcotics, and a loaded .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun.  Rosario-Ramirez, Hernandez-Rivas, Ramirez-Bellozo, and Pascual-Aquino, all of whom were present in the apartment, were arrested at that time.  Gonzalez-Reyes was arrested after he arrived at the apartment as the search warrant was being executed, and investigators found an additional quantity of fentanyl on his person.

The indictment charges Rosario-Ramirez, Hernandez-Rivas, Ramirez-Bellozo, Gonzalez-Reyes and Pascual-Aquino with conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl, an offense that carries a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life.  Rosario-Ramirez, Hernandez-Rivas, Ramirez-Bellozo, and Pascual-Aquino are also charged with possession with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl, which also carries a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life.  Gonzalez-Reyes is also charged with possession with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl, which carries a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years and a maximum term of imprisonment of 40 years.

U.S. Attorney Avery stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt.  Charges are only allegations, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This investigation is being conducted by the DEA’s Hartford Task Force, which includes personnel from the DEA Hartford Resident Office, the Connecticut State Police, and the Bristol, Hartford, East Hartford, Enfield, Manchester, New Britain, Rocky Hill, Wethersfield, Windsor Locks and Willimantic Police Departments.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Geoffrey M. Stone through the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Program.  OCDETF identifies, disrupts and dismantles drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs and transnational criminal organizations through a prosecutor-led and intelligence-driven approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.  Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.

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