Armed Leader of Fentanyl and Cocaine Distribution Conspiracy Sentenced to 40 Years in Federal Prison
ORLANDO, Fla. – U.S. District Judge Roy B. Dalton Jr. sentenced Carlos Roman (57, Orlando) to 40 years in federal prison for possession of cocaine and possession of a firearm equipped with a silencer in furtherance of drug trafficking. Judge Dalton also sentenced three individuals who conspired with Roman to distribute fentanyl and cocaine: James Richard Howell (37, Silver Springs) to 57 months; Kenneth Angel Vera (31, Orlando) to 27 months; and Joely Manuel Burgos (39, Orlando) to 51 months. Roman and Vera had pleaded guilty on December 6, 2022. Howell and Burgos had pleaded guilty on December 5, 2022, and December 28, 2022, respectively.
According to court documents, Roman supplied cocaine and fentanyl to Howell, Burgos, and Vera for resale and regularly communicated with each of them on a cellular telephone that was monitored by law enforcement pursuant to court-ordered authorization. On August 9, 2022, Roman was arrested at his home with 19 firearms, 6 silencers, 3 flash-bang grenades, and thousands of rounds of ammunition. See related press release: https://www.justice.gov/usao-mdfl/pr/members-drug-trafficking-conspiracy-plead-guilty-drug-and-gun-charges-operation-titan
“Illicit fentanyl is highly addictive and incredibly destructive. The individuals who bring this poison into our communities must be held accountable for their actions,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Deanne L. Reuter. “The success of this investigation is a direct result of the hard work and dedication of these investigators as well as the cooperation and collaboration between DEA and our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners. DEA remains committed to these partnerships to continue to keep our communities safe and healthy.”
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration Orlando District Office, with assistance from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the U.S. Secret Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Florida Highway Patrol, the Winter Garden Police Department, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, the Kissimmee Police Department, the Winter Park Police Department, the Clermont Police Department, the Orlando Police Department, the Apopka Police Department, the Ocoee Police Department, the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, and the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida.
Operation Titan Fall is a multi-agency Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCEDTF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at www.justice.gov/OCDETF.
If you are aware of controlled substance violations in your community, please submit your anonymous tip through the DEA online Tip Line at Submit a Tip | DEA.gov. Concerns about prescription drug abuse or diversion can be reported to the DEA through this link: RX Abuse Online Reporting (usdoj.gov).
The DEA encourages parents, teachers, care givers, guardians, and children to educate themselves about the dangers of drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.JustThinkTwice.com , www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com, www.CampusDrugPrevention.gov, and www.dea.gov.
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