Indictment Charges 3 Men with Fentanyl Trafficking Offenses
HARTFORD, Conn. - Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England, today announced that a federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging ISSACHAMIL TORRES, also known as “Chamil,” 35, of Hartford; EFRAIN CHEVEREZ, 32, of Hartford; and ENRIQUE RODRIGUEZ RIVERA, 23, of East Hartford, with fentanyl trafficking offenses.
As alleged in court documents and statements made in court, an investigation revealed that Torres was using an apartment on Nutmeg Lane in East Hartford to store, process and package narcotics for street sale. On January 25, 2023, investigators conducted a court-authorized search of the apartment and seized approximately 5,400 dose bags of fentanyl, approximately one kilogram of unpackaged fentanyl, and items used to process and package narcotics. Torres, Cheverez and Rodriguez, who were present in the apartment, were arrested at that time. That same day, a search of Torres’s residence on Crown Street in Hartford revealed distribution quantities of fentanyl and crack cocaine, and approximately $30,000 in cash.
On February 8, 2023, a grand jury in Hartford returned an indictment charging the three defendants with one count of conspiracy to distribute, and to possess with intent to distribute, 40 grams or more of fentanyl, and one count of possession with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl. These offenses carry a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years and a maximum term of imprisonment of 40 years. The indictment also charges Torres with one count of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl and cocaine, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.
Rodriguez appeared yesterday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas O. Farrish in Hartford and pleaded not guilty to the charges. Torres and Cheverez are scheduled to be arraigned next week.
U.S. Attorney Avery stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This investigation is being conducted by the DEA’s Hartford Task Force, which includes personnel from the DEA Hartford Resident Office, the Connecticut State Police, and the Bristol, Hartford, East Hartford, Enfield, Manchester, New Britain, Rocky Hill, Wethersfield, Windsor Locks and Willimantic Police Departments.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Geoffrey M. Stone through the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Program. OCDETF identifies, disrupts and dismantles drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs and transnational criminal organizations through a prosecutor-led and intelligence-driven approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.