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Hartford Grocer, Two Others, Charged with Heroin Trafficking

MAR 02 (NEW HAVEN, Conn.) – Michael J. Ferguson Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England and Deirdre M. Daly the United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut announced that a federal grand jury in Hartford returned a 10-count indictment charging Johnny Beltre, 32, of Cromwell, Elvis De Los Santos, also known as “Jorge,” 23, of Hartford, and Domingo De Los Santos, 48, of Hartford, with heroin trafficking offenses.   This matter stems from an ongoing investigation being conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Hartford Task Force, which includes participants from the Bristol, East Hartford, Hartford, Manchester, New Britain, Wethersfield and Willimantic Police Departments.

As alleged in court documents and statements made in court, the DEA Task Force has been investigating a heroin trafficking organization that Beltre has been operating from his business, the Beltre Family Grocery store located at 955 Broad Street in Hartford.  Between July 2015 and January 2016, law enforcement made seven controlled purchases of heroin from Beltre and his associates.  For each purchase, an individual arranged to purchase heroin from Beltre through recorded telephone calls, text messages or in-person meetings.  The individual then travelled to Beltre Family Grocery and provided Beltre with money.  Beltre then sent the purchaser to Elvis De Los Santos’s apartment at 105 Sherbrooke Avenue or Domingo De Los Santos’s residence at 132 Newbury Street to obtain the heroin.

On February 22, 2016, investigators in Connecticut learned that Beltre and two other associates were arrested in the Bronx, N.Y., after Beltre and his associates provided a courier with a bag containing approximately $500,000 in exchange for 20 kilograms of heroin.  Later that day, members of the DEA’s Hartford Task Force arrested Elvis De Los Santos and Domingo De Los Santos on federal criminal complaints.  On that date, a search of Beltre’s residence in Cromwell revealed $433,577 in cash; a search of Elvis De Los Santos’s residence revealed two bags of raw heroin, cutting agents, a digital scale and baggies, and a search of Domingo De Los Santos’s residence revealed a bag of heroin, a bag of cocaine, cutting agents, a kilogram press, pieces of an unassembled kilogram press, baggies, scales, gloves, a vacuum sealer and $6,000 in cash.

The indictment charges all three defendants with conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin.  If convicted of this charge, each defendant faces a minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life.  Each defendant also faces multiple counts of possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, heroin.  The three defendants are detained.  U.S. Attorney Daly stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt.  Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.


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