December 21, 2016
Contact: SA Timothy Desmond
Phone Number: (617) 557-2100
Investigation Leads To Sentencing Of Significant Connecticut Cocaine Trafficker
DEC 21 - NEW HAVEN, 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 that Tyshawn Welborn, also known as “Black,” 38, of Bloomfield, Connecticut was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Alker Meyer in New Haven to 84 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for trafficking cocaine. Welborn also was ordered to pay a $200,000 fine.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Raul Chavez headed a cocaine trafficking operation that smuggled cocaine from Mexico into El Paso, Texas, and then transported the drug to Connecticut and elsewhere. The investigation revealed that the Chavez organization had been supplying multiple kilograms of cocaine to Todd Vernon of Hartford since approximately 2004 and to Welborn since approximately 2010. The shipments, which would typically be in the range of 30 to 40 kilograms, were sent regularly from El Paso multiple times per year. Welborn then distributed the drug through a network of individuals.
In 2014, the Chavez organization attempted to find an additional source of supply for its Hartford area cocaine customers. In July 2014, a DEA confidential source met Andrew Duron, also known as “Chavo,” in North Carolina. During the meeting, Duron told the confidential source that he wanted to purchase up to 50 kilograms of cocaine for $28,000 per kilogram. On August 14, 2014, Duron, the confidential source and an undercover DEA agent met in New Jersey where Duron agreed to purchase 25 kilograms of cocaine. In subsequent conversations with the confidential source, Duron stated that he wanted an extra $1000 per kilogram as a side deal. They agreed on a total price of $725,000 for 25 kilograms of cocaine.
The investigation revealed that this cocaine shipment was destined for Welborn and Vernon, the latter of whom prepaid for approximately 13 kilograms of cocaine. On August 22, 2014, Welborn met Chavez and others at a restaurant in East Windsor where they discussed the pick-up of money from Welborn the following day and its delivery to a location to be determined.
On August 23, 2014, Duron met the undercover DEA agent at a location in Wethersfield. Duron told the undercover agent that his associates were in Connecticut and that Duron and the undercover agent would need to travel to a store parking lot near Bradley International Airport to verify that the money was in place. Duron and the undercover agent then drove in separate vehicles to a store parking lot on Kennedy Road in Windsor. Duron met with Raul Chavez and another associate in the store. A short time later, a third associate arrived in a Jeep Wrangler, met the undercover agent in the parking lot, showed him a duffel bag and said it contained “half” of the money. Shortly thereafter, investigators arrived at the scene and arrested Duron, Raul Chavez and his associates. Investigators also recovered from the Jeep a duffel bag containing approximately $284,000 in cash, and a loaded .38 caliber revolver. The cash had been picked up from Welborn earlier that day.
After word reached Raul Chavez’s son, Christopher Chavez, that his father and others had been arrested, Christopher Chavez coordinated the diversion of a shipment of 34 kilograms of cocaine, which was en route to Connecticut, to a high-level drug distributor in Cleveland, Ohio. Welborn was arrested on August 26, 2015. On August 22, 2016, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. Raul Chavez, Christopher Chavez, Duron and Vernon also pleaded guilty. On September 22, 2015, Duron, of El Paso, was sentenced to 84 months of imprisonment and, on October 7, 2016, Christopher Chavez, of El Paso, was sentenced to 60 months of imprisonment. Raul Chavez and Vernon await sentencing.
This investigation has been conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Hartford Task Force, including personnel from the DEA Hartford Resident Office and the Bristol, Hartford, Manchester, New Britain, Newington, and Wethersfield Police Departments.