FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 21, 2007
DEA and State Police Investigation Breaks Up Alleged Hartford Heroin Trafficking Organization
MAR 21 -- June 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 several individuals have been arrested on charges related to their alleged involvement in a heroin trafficking organization that distributed more than a kilogram of heroin a week in and around Hartford. FELIX J. CANCEL, JR., also known as “Feilo” and “Gordo,” age 37, of 21 Curtiss Street, Hartford, and his brother, JOSE JUAN CANCEL, also known as “Minin” and “Mingo,” age 34, of Nelton Court, Hartford, are alleged to have headed the organization.
According to documents filed with the Court and statements made in court, the charges stem from a 10-month investigation headed by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Connecticut State Police. The investigation included the use of undercover agents, confidential informants, controlled purchases and court-authorized wiretaps on telephones known to be used by the CANCELS. A total of 14 individuals were arrested last night and today on heroin conspiracy charges. Two additional defendants are currently incarcerated on unrelated charges. The investigation is ongoing.
In addition to the CANCEL brothers, EMILIO LOPEZ, also known as “Cano,” of 4 Atwood Street, Hartford; MARIA PLAYA, the wife of JOSE JUAN CANCEL, of Nelton Court, Hartford, and SANTIAGO MARTINEZ, also known as “Deuri Jiminez,” of Englewood, New Jersey, have been charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin. If convicted of this charge, each defendant faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years, a maximum term of life and a fine of up to $4,000,000.
In addition, JUAN O. RODRIGUEZ and ISRAEL RODRIGUEZ, also known as “Isra,” both of Chicopee, Massachusetts; INES NIEVES of Hartford; OSCAR ROBLES, of 2006 Main Street, Hartford; JUAN ALBERTO OQUENDO, also known as “Mella” of Hartford; DANIEL ESTREMERA, also known as “P,” of Hartford; HAYDEE RODRIGUEZ, of 13 Hazel Street, Hartford; DIANA TABERAS, also known as “Diana Coronado” and “Diana Velez,” of Hartford, and PEDRO JULIO VELASQUEZ, of 29 Nelson Street, East Hartford, Connecticut, have been charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin. If convicted of this charge, each defendant faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years, a maximum term of 40 years and a fine of up to $2,000,000.
Finally, FERNANDO ACEVEDO, also known as “Fernan,” of Hartford, and the CANCELS’ mother, ONELIA MORALES, of 24 Catherine Street, Hartford, have been charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a quantity of heroin. If convicted of this charge, each defendant faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years and a fine of up to $1,000,000.
This matter is being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Connecticut State Police and several local police departments that participate on a DEA Task Force.