Former Latin King who violated Federal Supervised Release is Sentenced
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 JOSE MELENDEZ, age 30, formerly 344 Blatchley Avenue, New Haven, was sentenced today by Senior United States District Judge Alan H. Nevas in Bridgeport to an additional two years of imprisonment for violating the conditions of his federal supervised release after having been released from prison in 2004.
According to statements made during court proceedings, MELENDEZ was a defendant in the first federal racketeering case in Connecticut prosecuted against the Latin Kings. Among other things, MELENDEZ was charged in 1994 in connection with his involvement in the distribution of narcotics in the New Haven area in 1993 and 1994, and well as for his participation in a series of drive-by shootings, including one involving Angel Izqueriedo on March 21, 1993, during which three people suffered serious injuries.
On June 15, 1995, MELENDEZ pleaded guilty to Racketeering and was subsequently sentenced to 108 months of imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised release. According to statements made in court, MELENDEZ’ incarceration was not without incident as he was implicated in an alleged serious assault with a razor while serving time at a federal prison in Pennsylvania. MELENDEZ was released from federal custody in early 2004 and, within months, was implicated in a joint DEA/ Statewide Narcotics Task Force investigation into the Fireside Restaurant located at 810 Woodward Avenue in New Haven. On two dates in October 2004, MELENDEZ was caught on video and audio surveillance engaging in two sales of crack cocaine to a cooperating source.
MELENDEZ was among 16 people arrested as a result of the investigation. Fifteen pleaded guilty and MELENDEZ’ case went to trial in New Haven Superior Court.
On February 16, 2006, MELENDEZ was found guilty by jury verdict on two counts of Sale of Narcotics and two counts of Sale of Narcotics within 1500 feet of a licensed day care facility. On May 10, 2006, Connecticut Superior Court Judge Bruce Levin sentenced MELENDEZ to 12 years on each of the two counts of sale of narcotics, and three years on each of the two counts of sale of narcotics within 1500 feet of a licensed day care, for a total of 30 years.
As a result of his state court conviction, MELENDEZ also faced a violation of his federal supervised release, a condition of which was that MELENDEZ refrain from committing any other local, state or federal offenses.
During today’s federal court proceeding, MELENDEZ conceded the federal violation, after which Judge Nevas sentenced him to an additional two years in prison, to run concurrently with his 30-year state sentence. Judge Nevas addressed MELENDEZ, stating “you will have a long time to think about what you did and how stupid you were . . . Ten years in federal prison should have taught you a lesson.”
The case that formed the basis for the federal violation of supervised release was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Statewide Narcotics Task Force.