Drug Enforcement Administration

New England

Brian D. Boyle , Special Agent in Charge

May 24, 2011

Contact: SA Timothy Desmond

Phone Number: (617) 557-2100

New Britain Man Sentenced To 37 Months In Federal Prison For Distributing Cocaine

NEW HAVEN, CT. - Steven W. Derr, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England and David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that ANTWAN YOPP, 32, of New Britain, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Janet Bond Arterton in New Haven to 37 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for his role in a New Britain and Hartford-area cocaine and crack cocaine distribution ring.

This matter stems from a 10-month Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force investigation dubbed “Operation Slow Play.” The investigation, which included the participation of the New Britain Police Department and several other local police departments, revealed that Steve Velez, of New Britain, was trafficking in kilogram quantities of cocaine and multi-ounce quantities of crack cocaine. According to court documents and statements made in court, YOPP was intercepted over a court-authorized wiretap ordering cocaine from Velez. YOPP than sold the cocaine in smaller quantities to his own customers.

This investigation has resulted in federal charges against 20 defendants, including Velez and YOPP, and the seizure of approximately 26 kilograms of cocaine, two kilograms of crack cocaine, $650,000 in cash, one firearm, and several vehicles.

On January 21, 2011, YOPP pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine.

On February 1, 2011, Velez pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. On May 9, 2011, he was sentenced to 144 months of imprisonment.

This matter has been investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the New Britain, Newington, Windsor, Wethersfield, Wallingford, Manchester and Hartford Police Departments. Additional assistance has been provided by the United States Marshals Service and the State of Connecticut Office of Parole.

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