November 14, 2013
Contact: SA Timothy Desmond
Phone Number: (617) 557-2100
Heroin Trafficker Sentenced To More Than 12 Years In Federal Prison
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - John J. Arvanitis, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England and Deirdre M. Daly, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that Antovany Acosta, also known as "Tony," 33, of New Haven, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant in Hartford to 150 months of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release, for trafficking heroin.
According to court documents and statements made in court, in early 2011, the Drug Enforcement Administration in New Haven received information from the Connecticut State Police that Acosta was selling substantial quantities of heroin from his residence at 28 Maltby Place in New Haven. Following a series of controlled purchases of heroin from Acosta, the DEA New Haven Task Force initiated a court-authorized wiretap investigation. The investigation determined that Adrian Pinzon-Gallardo, also known as "The Mexican," was supplying large quantities of heroin and cocaine to several individuals in Connecticut, including Acosta.
During the course of the wiretap, Acosta was intercepted telling an associate that he takes "like 250 (of heroin) every 10 days" from a "Mexican connection," a reference to Pinzon-Gallardo. Other individuals also supplied Acosta with large quantities of heroin.
On September 2, 2011, DEA personnel from Connecticut and Rhode Island, with the assistance of the Connecticut State Police, tracked Pinzon-Gallardo's Jeep as it traveled from Connecticut to Providence where it was believed from wire intercepts that Pinzon-Gallardo intended to conduct a narcotics transaction. In Providence, the surveillance team observed Pinzon-Gallardo and an associate meet and then travel to a storage facility in Pawtucket, R.I. At the facility, Pinzon-Gallardo and his associate entered an open storage unit with several other individuals and closed the door. A short time later, Pinzon-Gallardo's associate returned to the vehicle, retrieved a black backpack and walked back to the storage unit. Pinzon-Gallardo and his associate then returned to their vehicle and departed. After driving to Boston, Pinzon-Gallardo and his associate drove a circuitous route back to Connecticut when their vehicle was stopped by Connecticut State Police on Interstate 84 after it crossed the Connecticut border. A search of the car revealed three bricks of heroin, weighing a total of approximately 736 grams of heroin, and approximately $14,000 in cash.
A subsequent search of the storage unit in Rhode Island revealed approximately eight kilograms of heroin, including three kilograms that were contained within a black backpack similar to the one that Pinzon-Gallardo's associate had been seen carrying into the facility, approximately two kilograms of cocaine and approximately $35,000 in cash.
Acosta has been detained since his arrest on November 16, 2011. On June 13, 2013, following a six-day trial, a jury found Acosta guilty of one count of conspiracy to distribute, and to possess with intent to distribute, one kilogram or more of heroin, and three counts of possession with the intent to distribute and distribution of heroin.
Acosta, a citizen of the Dominican Republic, faces immigration proceedings after he completes his prison term.
Pinzon Gallardo pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute, and to possess with intent to distribute, one kilogram or more of heroin and, on April 4, 2013, he was sentenced to 135 months of imprisonment.
This matter was investigated by the DEA New Haven Task Force, which includes participants from the New Haven, Hamden, West Haven, North Haven, Branford, Ansonia and Meriden Police Departments, and the United States Marshals Service. The New Britain Police Department and the Connecticut State Police substantially assisted the investigation.