News Release
For Immediate Release:
January 8, 2010
Contact: Special Agent Tony Pettigrew
Number: 617-557-2138

Hardford Man Pleads Guilty to Crack Distribution, Illegal Ammunition Possession

JAN 8 - 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 ARMANDO SOLER, also known as “Jose Gonzalez,” 35, of Cowles Street, Hartford, pleaded guilty today before Senior United States District Judge Ellen Bree Burns in New Haven to one count of possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, five grams or more of cocaine base (“crack cocaine”), and one count of possession of ammunition by a previously convicted felon.

According to court documents and statements made in court, on November 20, 2008, Hartford Police officers executed a search warrant at SOLER’s apartment and seized more than 150 grams of crack cocaine, as well as 47 rounds of ammunition.  A DNA sample taken from the ammunition box matched a sample taken from SOLER. 

Prior to November 20, 2008, SOLER had been convicted of multiple felony offenses, including escape in the first degree, sale of hallucinogens or narcotics (twice), carrying a dangerous weapon, and assault on an officer.  It is a violation of federal law for a person previously convicted of a felony offense to possess a firearm or ammunition that has moved in interstate or foreign commerce.

Judge Burns has scheduled sentencing for March 29, 2010, at which time SOLER faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 40 years and a fine of up to $4 million.

SOLER has been detained since his arrest on May 17, 2009.

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Hartford Police Department.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan S. Freimann.

The Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative is aimed at reducing gun and gang violence, deterring illegal possession of guns, and improving the safety of residents of Connecticut’s cities. Participants in the initiative include community members and organizations as well as federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.