A coalition of federal, state and local police arrested more than 100 people in Connecticut from two notorious drug gangs. They were suspected of trafficking heroin and cocaine from the Dominican Republican and Puerto Rico.
Authorities with knowledge of the police takedown revealed that around 700 law enforcement officers took part in the arrests which were carried out in Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Puerto Rico. More than dozen law-enforcement agencies were reportedly involved in the operation.
"The defendants arrested today were responsible for a very large percentage of the heroin and cocaine available for street sale in New London County," federal prosecutor David Fein told reporters during a press conference.
"The arrests were the outcome of a 15-month investigation led by the federal prosecutor's office in Connecticut and a unit of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security," he added.
Federal officials stated the drug-trafficking operation involved individuals who would send the drugs from the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico to a wholesaler in southeastern Connecticut. The drug ring conducted some of its operations from an apartment building in New London.
Officials detailed that Luis Ariel Capellan Maldonado, a citizen of the Dominican Republic, would receive large quantities, usually several kilograms of heroin, from the Dominican Republic that was sent through the mail. Sometimes it would come with people hired to ingest the drugs and then transport them to the United States.
Authorities also stated another one of the drug dealers, Frankie Rivera, used his car repair business to sell cocaine and heroin.
Authorities stated that those who were arrested were taken to the U.S. District Court in New Haven, Conn. with many facing federal drug charges with mandatory minimum sentences of five to 10 years.
In addition to drugs, law enforcement officials seized an undisclosed amount of money as well as numerous guns and cars.