News Release
December 7, 2007

Cocaine Trafficker Sentenced to 87 Months in Federal Prison

DEC 7 -- June W. Stansbury, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration in New England today announced that FAUSTO CANDELARIO, also known as JOSE COSME, 39, a citizen of the Domincan Republic, was sentenced yesterday, December 6, by United States District Judge Alvin W. Thompson in Hartford to 87 months of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release. On March 20, 2007, CANDELARIO pleaded guilty to four cocaine trafficking counts contained within three indictments brought in the District of Connecticut. According to documents filed with the Court and statements made in court, this matter stems from an investigation conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Haven Drug Task Force that began in the summer of 2000 and continued through December 2001, targeting the distribution of cocaine and crack cocaine in the New Haven area by a New York-based organization. The investigation established that the New York organization was transporting large quantities of cocaine to New Haven for distribution. Using sophisticated investigative techniques, including a 12-month program of court-authorized wiretaps, the Task Force determined that the New York organization was being supplied, in part, by Sergio Torres, also known as “Tarzan,” a larger wholesale distributor residing in New Haven. Wiretaps and other investigative techniques established that Torres was obtaining multiple-kilogram quantities of cocaine from Mexico on a regular basis, with transhipment of the drugs moving through Los Angeles and Chicago, onto New Haven, then to New York, and finally, with respect to some of the drugs, back to New Haven for local distribution. During the course of the investigation, agents and officers seized hundreds of pounds of cocaine in Connecticut and New York.

CANDELARIO, who during this conspiracy resided in the Bronx, New York, received cocaine from Torres, which he redistributed.

CANDELARIO has been detained since his arrest in the Domincan Republic on October 29, 2005. He will be deported following service of this term of imprisonment.

On September 3, 2003, Torres was sentenced to 235 months of imprisonment.

The investigation by the Task Force was part of a broader, regional initiative of the DEA designated Operation Vise Grip. In connection with the regional initiative, the Task Force provided information and wire intercepts obtained in the investigation in New England to law enforcement authorities in New York, California, Illinois and Massachusetts. The ensuing investigations resulted in the arrest of more than 70 defendants in those states, as well as the seizure of more than 1000 kilograms of cocaine and more than $8 million in U.S. currency.

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the New Haven and West Haven Police Departments.