News Release
September 27, 2007

Cocaine and Heroin Trafficker Sentenced to
More Than 21 Years in Federal Prison

SEP 27 -- 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 LUIS JOEL SOTO-SOLIVAN, 34, last residing on County Street in Fall River, Massachusetts, was sentenced today by Senior United States District Judge Peter C. Dorsey in New Haven federal court to 262 months of imprisonment, followed by 10 years of supervised release. On March 7, 2007, SOTO-SOLIVAN pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine.

This matter stems from an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (“OCDETF”) investigation dubbed Operation Ragdoll, which was spearheaded by the Drug Enforcement Administration in Hartford. According to statements made in court, SOTO-SOLIVAN ran a drug trafficking operation based in Fall River, Massachusetts, which supplied narcotics to various distributors in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, and Pennsylvania. In pleading guilty, SOTO-SOLIVAN admitted that he was supplied with kilogram quantities of cocaine, shipped through the U.S. Mail, from various individuals in Puerto Rico. The investigation revealed that, from February 2006 through May 2006, SOTO-SOLIVAN received nine such shipments. On June 1, 2006, law enforcement officers with the Drug Enforcement Administration and the United States Postal Inspection Service seized one of these packages destined for SOTO-SOLIVAN in Fall River and discovered two kilograms of powder cocaine.

SOTO-SOLIVAN previously had been convicted in Puerto Rico of voluntary manslaughter and in federal court in Florida of importation of heroin. SOTO-SOLIVAN received an 80-month federal sentence on the heroin conviction, which stemmed from his transporting one kilogram of heroin, secreted inside a suitcase, from Colombia to Miami. SOTO-SOLIVAN was serving a five-year term of federal supervised release when he committed the offense for which he was sentenced today.

As part of today’s sentence, SOTO-SOLIVAN also was ordered to forfeit almost $40,000 in cash and two vehicles.

On June 29, 2006, a federal grand jury in Hartford returned an Indictment charging SOTO-SOLIVAN and 18 other individuals with various narcotics offenses.

SOTO-SOLIVAN has been in federal custody since his arrest on June 19, 2006.

U.S. Attorney O’Connor commended the law enforcement agents and officers who conducted the investigation and praised their devoted efforts to identify, disrupt and dismantle this substantial narcotics trafficking operation.

This investigation is a collaborative effort of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the New Britain Police Department, and the Fall River (MA) Police Department.