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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
June 7, 2004

P.T. Barnum Drug Dealer Sentenced to
Multiple Lifetime Terms of Imprisonment

JUN 7 - Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration in New England and Kevin J. O'Connor, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that ISAIAS SOLER, also known as "Eso," age 25, formerly of 75 James Street, Bridgeport, Connecticut, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport to four lifetime terms of imprisonment for his participation in a scheme to distribute narcotics in and around the P.T. Barnum Housing Project, an additional mandatory lifetime term of imprisonment for the August 23, 1998 murder of Rafael Garcia, Jr., and to four ten-year terms of imprisonment. One of the ten-year terms of imprisonment - using a firearm in connection with a crime of violence - was ordered to be served consecutively to the other counts.

SOLER was first arrested by federal authorities in November 2000 after a federal grand jury charged him and drug kingpin Frankie "The Terminator" Estrada with conspiracy to distribute narcotics. The grand jury later returned superseding indictments charging Estrada, SOLER and 25 others for their participation in a multi-million dollar scheme to distribute heroin and crack cocaine in the P.T. Barnum Housing Project and on the East Side of Bridgeport. SOLER pleaded guilty on January 9, 2002, after three days of trial testimony that detailed his role as a lieutenant in the organization responsible for the mixing, packaging and distribution of narcotics, and his carrying of firearms to intimidate members of the organization and potential rivals. During his guilty plea, SOLER admitted to the indictment's charges of racketeering and racketeering conspiracy, two charges of conspiracy to distribute narcotics (heroin and "crack" cocaine), and committing a violent crime (murder) in aid of racketeering.

SOLER shot and killed Garcia, an alleged rival in the drug trade, in the early morning hours of August 23, 1998, while Garcia sat in the passenger seat of a vehicle that had stopped on a city street. He also pleaded guilty to three counts of obstruction of justice in connection with his participation in a scheme to blame another person for Garcia's murder, and to a charge of using a firearm in connection with the murder.

Judge Underhill sentenced SOLER to lifetime terms of imprisonment for the racketeering, racketeering conspiracy murder and two narcotics trafficking conspiracies, and to ten-year terms of imprisonment for the three obstruction of justice charges. He is to serve those sentences concurrently. By operation of federal law, the mandatory ten-year term of imprisonment for using a firearm in connection with a crime of violence must run consecutive to the other charges. Judge Underhill characterized the murder of Garcia as "a senseless tragedy," observed that the sentence represents "a life for a life," and expressed his hope that the Garcia family would find a measure of justice, comfort, and closure from the sentence.

U.S. Attorney O'Connor added that the convictions and dispositions to date are the result of outstanding cooperative efforts by special agents of the FBI, DEA and members of the Bridgeport Police Department assigned to FBI and DEA Task Forces, and with cooperation from the State's Attorney's Office and the Connecticut Department of Corrections, Security Division. Special Agents of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation Division also participated in the investigations and prosecutions.

The FBI and DEA Bridgeport Task Forces are comprised of federal, state and local law enforcement, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, the United States Marshal's Service, the Connecticut State Police, Statewide Narcotics Task Force - Southwest, and the Bridgeport and Greenwich Police Departments. The State's Attorney's Office in Bridgeport, investigators from the State's Attorney's Office in Bridgeport, and members of the New York City Police Department have also assisted in the investigations and prosecutions

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