News Release
May 3, 2006

New Haven Man Pleads Guilty To Federal Heroin Trafficking Charge

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, announced that ARVIN MELENDEZ, age 32 (DOB 7/14/73), of 66 Daggett Street, New Haven, pleaded guilty today before Senior United States District Judge Alfred V. Covello in Hartford to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin.

On August 10, 2005, a federal grand jury sitting in New Haven returned and Indictment charging MELENDEZ and eight others with narcotics conspiracy violations. The charges arose from an investigation conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Haven Drug Task Force into the distribution of heroin throughout the New Haven area by a narcotics trafficking organization in which MELENDEZ participated. A variety of traditional and sophisticated investigative techniques were employed by the Task Force, including court-authorized wiretaps, and undercover purchases and seizures of heroin. The investigation disclosed and the Indictment alleges that the drug organization obtained large quantities of heroin and transporting it to New Haven for resale.

Judge Covello has scheduled sentencing for July 20, 2006, at which time MELENDEZ a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of ten years, a maximum term of life, and a fine of up to $4 million.

This matter is being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Haven Drug Task Force, which includes agents and officers from the DEA, the New Haven, West Haven, Waterbury, Meriden, Shelton, Guilford and Branford Police Departments, and the Connecticut State Police. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys H. Gordon Hall and Patrick F. Caruso of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force.