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News Release
May 27, 2004

New Britain Contractor and Former
Resident Indicted for Money Laundering and Conspiracy

MAY 27 - Special Agent in Charge Mark R. Trouville of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in New England and Kevin J. O'Connor, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that MICHAEL CIARCIA, age 40 (DOB 5/10/64), of 113 Vincent Drive, Newington, Connecticut, and LUIS SANTIAGO, age 35 (DOB 12/30/69), formerly of New Britain, Connecticut, were indicted yesterday, May 26, by a federal grand jury sitting in Hartford and were charged with one count of money laundering and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. CIARCIA is the owner of Ciarcia Construction LLC, located in New Britain. He surrendered to federal authorities in Hartford this morning.

According to the Indictment, in late 2001, Ciarcia Construction LLC was employed by the New Britain Housing Authority to rehabilitate residential units in the "Pinnacle Heights" housing development located in New Britain, and listed SANTIAGO as an employee. The Indictment alleges that Ciarcia Construction certified to the New Britain Housing Authority that SANTIAGO worked for 40 hours between December 10, 2001 and December 14, 2001, when in fact SANTIAGO did not perform any services for Ciarcia Construction during that week. Instead, it is alleged that SANTIAGO gave CIARCIA over $30,000 in cash that was generated by the sale of illegal drugs. In return, CIARCIA agreed to issue weekly paychecks from Ciarcia Construction LLC to SANTIAGO, without requiring that SANTIAGO perform any work.

In the spring of 2002 in a separate case, SANTIAGO pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiring to distribute cocaine and was sentenced to a term of incarceration of nine years. He is currently serving his sentence in federal prison in Pennsylvania.

If convicted, both defendants face a term of incarceration of up to 20 years and could be fined as much as $500,000.

U.S. Attorney O'Connor stressed that an indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are entitled to a fair trial at which it is the Government's burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

U.S. Attorney O'Connor complimented the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the New Britain Police Department for their efforts in this case.

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