Jury Finds UPS Driver Guilty of Concealing Crime
Mark R. Trouville, 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 FRIMAN ROMERO, age 32, of 287 Hattertown Road, Monroe, Connecticut, was convicted by a federal jury sitting in New Haven of committing a misprision of a felony.
The jury returned its verdict on Friday, October 1, after a four-day trial. On June 16, 2004, a federal grand jury returned a three-count Indictment charging ROMERO with misprision of a felony and two counts of making false statements to a law enforcement officer. On Friday, the jury acquitted ROMERO of the two latter counts. The charges against ROMERO stem from an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force ("OCDETF") investigation dubbed "Operation Two Terrences," which was spearheaded by the Drug Enforcement Administration in Bridgeport.
According to evidence presented at trial, beginning in the Spring 2003, the DEA Task Force targeted the distributors of cocaine, "crack" cocaine and marijuana in and around the City of Bridgeport. From October 2003 through February 2004, the DEA Task Force obtained court-authorized wiretaps for several different telephones that allowed the Task Force to intercept the conversations of the defendants as they talked about their drug trafficking activities.
During the course of the investigation, it became evident that some of the targets were receiving large packages of cocaine that were being shipped via UPS from Puerto Rico. In December 2003, the electronic interceptions revealed that certain members of the conspiracy were expecting UPS packages from Puerto Rico that contained 39 kilograms of cocaine. The packages were supposed to be delivered to an address in the Bronx, New York, but interceptions revealed that the shipment was late and had not yet been received. ROMERO was the UPS driver assigned to deliver packages to this particular location in the Bronx.
As the investigation regarding the 39 kilograms and this location in the Bronx intensified, ROMERO was questioned by members of the Task Force regarding these packages and his dealings with the intended recipient of the packages of cocaine, Pedro Diaz. Diaz provided testimony during the trial that ROMERO disclosed to him the existence of the federal investigation.
The packages of cocaine, which have not been located, would have a street value of approximately $1.5 million. In February 2004, 25 individuals, including Diaz, were arrested and charged with various narcotics offenses relating to the distribution of cocaine, crack cocaine, and marijuana. To date, 21 individuals have pleaded guilty to the charges. The remaining four individuals intend to proceed to trial later this month.
When he is sentenced on January 10, 2005, by Senior United States District Judge Peter C. Dorsey, ROMERO faces a maximum term of imprisonment of three years and a fine of up to $250,000.
This matter is being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force, which is located in Bridgeport and is comprised of DEA special agents, officers from the Bridgeport, Stratford, Easton, Fairfield, Norwalk, Stamford and Greenwich police departments, and members of the Connecticut State Police.