News Release
For Immediate Release:
May 06, 2010
Contact: Special Agent Tony Pettigrew
Number: 617-557-2138

Four New Haven Residents Involved in Heroin Trafficking Ring
Sentenced to Prison

MAY 06 -- 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 four New Haven residents involved in a heroin trafficking ring have been sentenced to federal prison.  The sentences were imposed by Senior United States District Judge Alfred V. Covello in Hartford.

In the fall of 2008, the Drug Enforcement Administration initiated “Operation King of the Hill,” an investigation into a narcotics trafficking organization operating in New Haven.  According to court documents and statements made in court, the investigation included controlled purchases of heroin, physical surveillance and the use of court-authorized wiretaps on wireless phones known to be used by targets of the investigation.  The investigation revealed that the organization regularly obtained bulk quantities of pre-packaged “bundles” of heroin, principally from a New York source-of-supply.  The heroin was then distributed through a network of mid-level dealers.

Today, VICTOR NIEVES, also known as “Bori,” 34, of Button Street, was sentenced to 120 months of imprisonment, followed by eight years of supervised release.  NIEVES was a street-level heroin dealer, or “runner,” in the organization.

Last week, two other street-level dealers affiliated with the organization were sentenced.  On April 27, PEDRO SANTIAGO, also known as “Pedrito,” 36, of Greenwich Avenue, was sentenced to 77 months of imprisonment, followed by six years of supervised release.  On April 28, ARTURO VELASQUEZ, also known as “Calvo,” 45, of Button Street, was sentenced to 57 months of imprisonment, followed by six years of supervised release.

On April 29, MARISOL MARTINEZ, 44, was sentenced to six months of imprisonment, followed by six months of home confinement and three years of supervised release.  MARTINEZ, the wife of the alleged leader of the heroin ring, was intercepted in numerous conversations during the wiretap phase of the investigation.  The conversation revealed that she collected, counted and secreted drug proceeds for the organization within her home at 52 Hurlburt Street in New Haven.

Twenty individuals have been charged as a result of the investigation.  NIEVES, SANTIAGO, VELASQUEZ and MARTINEZ previously pleaded guilty and admitted their involvement.

        This matter was investigated by the New Haven Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, including DEA agents and officers from the New Haven, West Haven, Meriden, Shelton, Hamden, Branford and Ansonia Police Departments.