FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 13, 2006
Indiviuals Involved In Willimantic Drug Trafficking Ring Are Sentenced
W. Stansbury, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration
in New England and Kevin J. O’Connor, United States Attorney for
the District of Connecticut, today announced that Senior United States
District Judge Alfred V. Covello has sentenced three individuals in Hartford
federal court for their involvement in a narcotics trafficking ring that
was responsible for the distribution of a substantial amount of heroin
and other drugs in and around Willimantic, Connecticut.
Today, Judge Covello sentenced JORGE AGUILAR, age 22 (DOB 8/13/83), a
citizen of Mexico formerly residing at 517 North Street, Willimantic,
seven months of imprisonment, time served, followed by three years of supervised
release. On February 21, 2006, JORGE AGUILAR pleaded guilty to conspiring to
possess with intent to distribute cocaine. JORGE AGUILAR has been detained since
his arrest on September 8, 2006. At the conclusion of today’s sentencing,
JORGE AGUILAR was transferred to the custody of U.S. Citizen and Immigration
Services and he will be deported to Mexico.
On Wednesday, April 12, Judge Covello sentenced, DANNY COLON, also known as “Tato,” age
30 (DOB 7/28/75), of 19 Pleasant Street, Willimantic to 21 months of imprisonment
followed by three years of supervised release. On November 23, 2005, COLON pleaded
guilty to conspiring to possess with intent to distribute heroin.
Also on Wednesday, April 12, Judge Covello sentenced MARTHA AGUILAR, age 45 (DOB
10/12/60), of 64 Elm Street, Willimantic, to three years of probation, the first
six months of which she must spend confined to her home. On November 10, 2005,
MARTHA AGUILAR pleaded guilty to using a telephone to facilitate the commission
of a narcotics trafficking felony. At that time, MARTHA AGUILAR admitted that
she engaged in telephone conversations in which she agreed to deliver a quantity
of heroin to another individual’s drug customer.
These charges stem from an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (“OCDETF”)
investigation dubbed “Operation SAPO,” which began in late 2004 and
was spearheaded by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. On August 10, 2005,
a federal grand jury sitting in Hartford returned and 18-count indictment charging
23 individuals with various narcotics offenses, primarily related to the distribution
of heroin. According to statements made in court proceedings, a court-authorized
wiretap revealed that Jose Del Los Santos Rubio Betancurth of Hartford and Juan
Carlos Velez of New Britain were supplying an individual in Willimantic with
approximately a half kilogram of heroin on a monthly basis for distribution in
and around Willimantic.
Searches at the conclusion of the four-month wiretap investigation resulted in
the seizure of approximately 2 kilograms of cocaine, 350 grams of heroin, 400
grams of methamphetamine, two handguns and $14,000 in cash.
BETANCURTH and VELEZ have each pleaded guilty to heroin trafficking charges and
Willimantic is a Department of Justice recognized and funded Weed and Seed site.
Weed and Seed is a Department of Justice strategy that aims to prevent, control,
and reduce violent crime, drug abuse, and gang activity in targeted high-crime
neighborhoods across the country. Law enforcement agencies and prosecutors cooperate
in “weeding out” criminals who participate in violent crime and drug
abuse, attempting to prevent their return to the targeted area. “Seeding” brings
human services to the area, encompassing prevention, intervention, treatment,
and neighborhood revitalization.
U.S. Attorney O’Connor encouraged individuals in the Willimantic area who
believe they have a drug dependency to seek help for their problem by calling
the “New Perceptions Program” in Willimantic at (860) 450-0151, and
in Danielson at (860) 779-5852.
This investigation was a collaborative effort of the Drug Enforcement Administration
Hartford Resident Office, which included members of the Hartford, East Hartford,
Southington, Manchester and West Hartford police departments, the Willimantic
Police Department, the Connecticut State Police, Massachusetts State Police,
the Southbridge, Massachusetts police department, the DEA Worcester, Massachusetts
Resident Office, the State’s Attorney’s Office for the Judicial District
of Windham and the United States Attorney’s Office.