Hartford Man Involved in Oxycodone and Fentanyl Pill Trafficking Ring Sentenced to Prison
HARTFORD, Conn. - Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that JOSE LORA, 30, of Hartford, has been sentenced by U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport to 24 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for his role in a narcotics trafficking organization that distributed oxycodone pills, counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl, and other drugs in the Hartford area.
According to court documents and statements made in court, this matter stems from a joint investigation by the DEA Tactical Diversion Squad and the FBI Northern Connecticut Gang Task Force targeting individuals who were distributing oxycodone pills, counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl, and other drugs from neighborhood grocery stores in New Britain and Hartford. Between January 2020 and March 2021, investigators made several controlled purchases of illegal pills at the Washington Market, formerly located at 453 Washington Street in Hartford; JZ Tobacco, located at 25 New Britain Avenue in Hartford, and Prestige Market, located at 23 New Britain Avenue in Hartford. Lora worked at the stores and served as a drug runner and lookout for the organization.
On December 20, 2020, investigators stopped a vehicle registered to Ray Urena and found approximately 4,000 oxycodone pills and $51,000 in cash in a hidden “trap” beneath the front passenger seat of the car.
Lora, Urena, and others were arrested on May 18, 2021. On that date, searches of an apartment on Colonial Street in Hartford that was used by the drug trafficking organization, and two vehicles parked outside of the stash house, revealed approximately two kilograms of fentanyl, approximately 170 grams of heroin, more than 5,000 real and counterfeit oxycodone pills, approximately 2,000 xanax pills, approximately one kilogram of cocaine, approximately 100 grams of crack, items used to process and package narcotics, two handguns, and ammunition. A search of Urena’s residence in Waterbury revealed approximately $54,000.
On May 11, 2023, Lora pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, fentanyl.
Urena pleaded guilty to the same charge and awaits sentencing.
The DEA’s New Haven Tactical Diversion Squad is composed of personnel from the DEA and the Bristol, East Windsor, Hamden, New Britain, West Haven, Newington, Manchester, Glastonbury, and Watertown Police Departments. The FBI’s Northern Connecticut Gang Task Force includes members of the Hartford Police Department, East Hartford Police Department, New Britain Police Department, West Hartford Police Department, Connecticut State Police and Connecticut Department of Correction.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John T. Pierpont, Jr.