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Woman Who Operated Large Scale Heroin Processing Mill in Hartford Pleads Guilty

FEB 29 (HARTFORD, Conn.) – Michael J. Ferguson Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England and Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that Amanda Gambardella, 26, formerly of Hartford and Cheshire, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton in New Haven to one count of possession with intent to distribute heroin.  This matter stems from an ongoing investigation being conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Hartford Task Force, which includes participants from the Hartford, Wethersfield, Bristol, East Hartford, Manchester, New Britain and Willimantic Police Departments.

According to court documents and statements made in court, the DEA Task Force received information that a drug trafficking organization was obtaining large quantities of heroin in New York City, transporting the drug to Connecticut in a vehicle equipped with a hidden compartment, and distributing it in the Hartford area.  The investigation revealed that Gambardella was employed by the organization to store and package heroin at her apartment on Adelaide Street in Hartford, and that she had rented a storage unit in East Hartford on behalf of the organization.  On November 4, 2015, investigators conducted a court-authorized search of the East Hartford storage unit and seized approximately $795,990 in cash.  On November 5, 2015, investigators searched the Adelaide Street apartment and seized approximately 778 grams of heroin, as well as cutting agents, packaging materials and other paraphernalia associated with a large scale heroin processing mill.  The seized heroin included more than 17,000 bags packaged for street sale and approximately 200 grams of unpackaged heroin.

Gambardella has been detained since her arrest on November 5, 2015.  Judge Arterton scheduled sentencing for May 23, 2016, at which time Gambardella faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.


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