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Bronx Man who Supplied Eastern Connecticut Drug Ring Sentenced to More Than 6 Years in Federal Prison

JUNE 13 (BRIDGEPORT, 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 Jose Miranda, also known as “Omar,” 52, of the Bronx, N.Y., was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Victor A. Bolden in Bridgeport to 74 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for trafficking heroin and cocaine.  Judge Bolden also ordered Miranda to pay a $5,000 fine.

According to court documents and statements made in court, in October 2015, the DEA, Willimantic Police Department and Connecticut State Police initiated an investigation into a Willimantic-based narcotics trafficking ring after several overdoses in the region.  The investigation, which included the use of confidential informants, physical surveillance, controlled purchases of drugs and court authorized wiretaps on five cellular telephones utilized by the co-conspirators, revealed that Miranda was supplying large quantities of heroin and cocaine to individuals in eastern Connecticut and Rhode Island, including Carlos Alberto Lopez-Zelada, of Willimantic, and Persio Hernandez, of North Windham.  In Connecticut, Lopez-Zelada converted a portion of the cocaine he received into crack cocaine.  Lopez-Zelada, Hernandez and other co-conspirators then distributed heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine in the Willimantic area.

Miranda was arrested on June 23, 2016, after he was intercepted threatening to shoot a co-conspirator who refused to pay him for a quantity of heroin that Miranda had provided to the individual on consignment.  Miranda also disclosed on a wiretap intercept that he had been involved in drug trafficking for “25 years.”  Miranda has been detained since his arrest.  On December 9, 2016, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin and cocaine. 

Lopez-Zelada and Hernandez were arrested on July 6, 2016, and subsequently pleaded guilty to related charges.  They are detained while awaiting sentencing.


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