News Release
For Immediate Release:
December 22, 2009
Contact: Special Agent Tony Pettigrew
Number: 617-557-2138

Two Meriden Men Arrested After Receiving 30 Kilos of Cocaine

DEC 22 - Steven W. Derr, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England and Nora R. Dannehy, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that a federal grand jury sitting in New Haven has returned an indictment charging ARMANDO CARDONA, 68, and ANDRES ALVAREZ, 53, both of Meriden, Connecticut, with one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, and one count of possession with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine.  The indictment was returned yesterday, December 21.

According to court documents and statements made in court, on December 10, 2009, Arkansas State Police seized approximately 30 kilograms of cocaine that was being delivered from Phoenix, Arizona to Meriden.  The Drug Enforcement Administration then conducted a controlled delivery of the cocaine in Meriden.  It is alleged that, on Saturday, December 12, after CARDONA arranged, over the telephone, for the delivery of the cocaine, ALVAREZ took delivery of the cocaine at a predetermined location in Meriden.  ALVAREZ was arrested after he took possession of the cocaine and placed it into the trunk of his car.  Subsequently, CARDONA also was arrested, and a search of his residence resulted in the seizure of approximately $372,000.

U.S. Attorney Dannehy stressed that an indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.  The defendants are entitled to a fair trial at which it is the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case has been investigated by the Arkansas State Police, the Pope County (Ark.) District Attorney’s Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration in Little Rock and New Haven, and the Meriden Police Department.  The DEA Task Force in New Haven includes officers from the New Haven, West Haven, Meriden, Ansonia, Hamden and Branford Police Departments.