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News Release
August 1, 2005

Stratford Man Sentenced to Federal Prison on Drug Conspiracy Charges

June W. Stansbury 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 RICARDO CARTAGENA, age 40, of 141 College Street, Stratford, Connecticut was sentenced today by United States District Judge Janet B. Arterton in New Haven to one year and one day of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release, for conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine and marijuana. CARTAGENA pleaded guilty to the charges on May 27, 2004.

CARTAGENA was arrested in February 2004 as part of a long-term investigation spearheaded by the Drug Enforcement Administration into the distribution of multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine, "crack" cocaine and marijuana in Bridgeport and the surrounding area. During the investigation, the DEA Task Force obtained court-authorized wiretaps for several different telephones used by members of this drug organization, including Luis Quiles. As revealed in court proceedings, the wiretaps exposed a vast organization headed by Quiles, which was responsible for the distribution of multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine each week on the streets of Bridgeport and surrounding towns. In pleading guilty, CARTAGENA admitted that he sold pound quantities of marijuana, and also introduced Quiles and another defendant in the case to a large-scale cocaine supplier.

Seized during the investigation were approximately eight kilograms of cocaine, nearly 300 grams of crack cocaine, several firearms and approximately $1 million in drug proceeds. On June 1, 2005, Judge Underhill sentenced Quiles to 180 months of imprisonment. U.S. Attorney O'Connor commended the law enforcement agents and officers who conducted the investigation and praised their devoted efforts to identify, disrupt and dismantle this multi-kilogram cocaine and crack cocaine trafficking operation.

This matter was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force, which is located in Bridgeport and is comprised of DEA special agents, officers from the Bridgeport, Stratford, Easton, Fairfield, Norwalk, and Stamford police departments, and members of the Connecticut State Police.



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