February 20, 2019
Contact: SA Timothy Desmond
Phone Number: 617-557-2100
Rhode Island man faces up to life imprisonment for trafficking heroin into southeastern Connecticut
HARTFORD, Conn. – DEA New England Division Special Agent in Charge Brian D. Boyle and United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut John H. Durham today announced that a federal jury in Hartford has found Eddy Pena, 30, of Providence, R.I., guilty of one count of conspiracy to distribute, and to possess with intent to distribute, one kilogram or more of heroin. The trial before U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea began on Feb. 11 and the jury returned the verdict this morning.
According to court documents, statements made in court and the evidence introduced during the trial, this matter stems from an investigation that began after several heroin overdoses in southeastern Connecticut, including two overdose deaths involving a heroin and fentanyl mix that occurred in January 2016. The investigation, which included court-authorized wiretaps and controlled purchases of narcotics, revealed that Pena regularly supplied Michael Luciano, of New London, with large quantities of heroin. Luciano, who also received heroin from sources in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, distributed the drug through a network of street-level dealers in southeastern Connecticut.
The evidence at trial also indicated that Pena supplied heroin to individuals in Providence, R.I., and Fall River, Mass., as early as 2012. Pena has been detained since his arrest on Nov. 14, 2017. On that date, investigators executed 12 federal search warrants and seized more than three kilograms of heroin from other members of the conspiracy, and approximately $14,000 in cash from Pena. On Dec. 12, 2017, a grand jury in Hartford returned a 25-count superseding indictment charging Pena, Luciano and 19 other individuals with various heroin trafficking offenses. Prior to his trial, on Feb. 4, 2019, Pena pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute.
When he is sentenced, Pena faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life. A sentencing date is not scheduled. On June 27, 2018, Luciano pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin. On Jan. 29, 2019, he was sentenced to 12 years of imprisonment.
This matter is being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Marshals Service, Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division, Homeland Security Investigations, Connecticut State Police Statewide Narcotics Task Force East and the New London, Norwich, Waterford, Attleboro and Freetown, Mass., police departments.
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