New Britain Fentanyl Dealer Sentenced to More than 6 Years in Federal Prison
NEW BRITAIN, Conn. - Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that ROBERTO MERCEDES-RODRIGUEZ, 43, of New Britain, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Robert N. Chatigny in Hartford to 78 months of imprisonment, followed by four years of supervised release, for fentanyl distribution and firearm possession offenses.
According to court documents and statements made in court, an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration New Haven Tactical Diversion Squad and the New Britain Police Department determined that Mercedes-Rodriguez and others were selling fentanyl throughout the greater New Britain area. In February 2021, New Britain Police arrested Mercedes-Rodriguez on state charges after he was found in possession of a quantity of packaged fentanyl, a loaded stolen 9mm handgun, and two loaded high capacity magazines. Investigators continued to investigate Mercedes-Rodriguez while he was released on bond in his state case and, between August 2021 and February 2022, observed him conducting hand-to-hand drug transactions.
Mercedes-Rodriguez was arrested on a federal criminal complaint on February 24, 2022. On that date, a court-authorized search of his Cottage Place residence revealed 2,000 wax paper folds containing fentanyl.
Mercedes-Rodriguez’s criminal history includes felony convictions for narcotics, robbery, assault, failure to appear and domestic violence-related offenses, and multiple probation violations. It is a violation of federal law for a person previously convicted of a felony offense to possess a firearm or ammunition that has moved in interstate or foreign commerce.
On December 12, 2022, Mercedes-Rodriguez pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, and one count of possession with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl.
Mercedes-Rodriguez has been detained since March 11, 2022, when his bond was revoked.
This investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration New Haven Tactical Diversion Squad and the New Britain Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tara E. Levens and John T. Pierpont, Jr.