News Release
For Immediate Release:
November 2, 2009
Contact: Special Agent Tony Pettigrew
Number: 617-557-2138

DEA Investigation of Alleged New Haven Heroin Trafficking Rings Results in 11 Arrests

NOV 02 -- Steven W. Derr, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Field Division and Nora R. Dannehy, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that 11 individuals were arrested last week for their alleged participation in a New Haven-based heroin distribution ring.

According to court documents and statements made in court, the arrests stem from “Operation Oceanfront,” a long-term investigation headed by the Drug Enforcement Administration.  The investigation has included the use of court-authorized wiretaps on wireless phones used by two members of the organization who are alleged to have dispatched street-level heroin dealers employed by the organization to meet with its heroin customers.  During the course of the investigation, DEA agents intercepted thousands of calls that allegedly pertained to narcotics trafficking.  In addition to the wiretap intercepts, the DEA made several controlled purchases of heroin during the investigation.

The 11 defendants, who were arrested on October 27 and 28, are:

MOISES VALENTIN-CANDELARIA, a.k.a. “Primo,” 37, of Ocean Avenue, West Haven,

ANGEL AVILA, a.k.a. “Melasa Avila” and “Rob,” 28, of Ashmun Street, New Haven,

RAMON VASQUEZ, 32, of Carson Street, Hazelton, Pennsylvania,

FELIX ALBERTO RAMOS, a.k.a. “Felix Vincente-Sanchez” and “Alberto,” 35, of Valentine Avenue, the Bronx, New York,

RANDY WASHINGTON, a.k.a. “Pepe,” 22, of County Street, New Haven,

DOMINGO ROSARIO, a.k.a. “Benito” and “Chiqui,” 39, of Davenport Avenue, New Haven,

ROBERT CALO, a.k.a. “Papito,” 50, of Chapel Street, New Haven,

SAUL VALENTIN, a.k.a. “Rally,” 29, of State Street, Hamden,

JUAN HERNANDEZ, a.k.a. “Tony,” 35, of Oakridge Drive, New Haven,

RAFAEL VIZCARRONDO, a.k.a. “Cafe,” 54, of, Saltonstall Avenue, New Haven,

BLAS ZAYAS, a.k.a. “Boricua” and “Bori,” 39, of First Avenue, West Haven

On Tuesday, October 27, CANDELARIA and VASQUEZ, were arrested after allegedly attempting to flee from law enforcement in a BMW that CANDELARIA was driving.  The two were arrested after the vehicle crashed into a telephone pole in the area of Captain Thomas Boulevard in West Haven.

If convicted of the charges contained in the criminal complaints, CANDELARIA, VASQUEZ, AVILA, and RAMOS face a maximum term of imprisonment of life; VALENTIN, HERNANDEZ and ZAYAS face a maximum term of imprisonment of 40 years, and WASHINGTON, ROSARIO, CALO and VIZCARRONDO face a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.

U.S. Attorney Dannehy stressed that a complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.  The defendants are entitled to have this matter presented to a grand jury and, in the event an indictment is returned, he is entitled to a trial at which it will be the Government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

This matter is being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, with the assistance of the United States Marshals Service.