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Drug task force arrests 9 major suppliers of fentanyl, opioids in central Connecticut

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NEW BRITAIN–A task force made up of agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency Hartford Task Force, U.S. Attorney’s Office, New Britain Police Department and Wethersfield Police Department announced the arrest of nine individuals responsible for distributing large amounts of fentanyl and other drugs throughout central Connecticut.

“We believe that this groundbreaking investigation has identified a major supplier of fentanyl in our state,” said U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly. “This investigation has provided us with an important window into how fentanyl is winding up on our streets.”

The investigation, called Operation Jackpot, began in December 2015, and agents were able to establish a chain of command related to the distribution.

During the execution of the warrants that led to the arrests, 2.5 kilograms of fentanyl, 2 kilograms of molly, 50,000 counterfeit Xanax pills; 40 pounds of marijuana; butane hash oil; steroids; and $500,000 in cash were seized as well.

This is the largest fentanyl seizure in Connecticut, and one of the largest in New England.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 times more powerful than heroin. Heroin is often sold laced with it, and that is one of the more common causes of heroin overdoses. Last year, 482 people died from heroin and opioids in Connecticut, and in the first two months of this year 93 people died.

Operation Jackpot chart

Those responsible are being federally charged for their crimes:

  • John Casadei, 45, of Morris–Conspiracy to distribute; conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl (mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years, maximum of life in prison)
  • Jared McBriarty, 31, of Bristol–Conspiracy to distribute; conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl (mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years, maximum of life in prison)
  • Kyle Petersen, 30, of New Britain–Conspiracy to distribute; conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl (mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years, maximum of life in prison); also possession with intent to distribute and distribution of at least 400 grams of fentanyl
  • Charles Orcutt, 27, of Windsor–Conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances (maximum sentence of 20 years)
  • Carlos Enriquez, 27, of Enfield–Conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances (maximum sentence of 20 years)
  • Jesus Correa, 41, of New Britain–Conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances (maximum sentence of 20 years)
  • Isaac Ortiz, 35, of Newington–Conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances (maximum sentence of 20 years)
  • Tomasz Ziobron, 30, of New Britain–Conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances (maximum sentence of 20 years)
  • Dominique Greco, 29, of Cromwell–Conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances (maximum sentence of 20 years)

The investigation began when the DEA Hartford Task for and New Britain Police Department got a tip in December that Kyle Petersen was selling powdered fentanyl, prescription pills and marijuana, and pulled him over for a traffic stop. That led to officer setting up multiple controlled purchases with Petersen, and also a court-approved wiretap on him.

The wiretaps on Petersen provided a wealth of information that led to the rest of the arrests, and showed the chain of custody of the drugs.

Agnts learned that John Casadei was using the Dark Web to purchase large quantities of fentanyl, Xanax and oxycodone from China.

Casadei then supplied the drugs to Jared McBriarty, who in turn sold them to Petersen.

Petersen then sold fentanyl and other drugs to Charles Orcutt, Carlos Enriquez, Jesus Correa, Isaac Ortiz and Tamasz Ziobron. He sold just prescription pills to Dominique Greco.

Those six individuals then sold the drugs throughout central Connecticut.

“Today, we have made some headway,” said Wardwell. “Tomorrow we will be right back at it to show those who want to bring these poisons into our communities that we will not stand for it–not now–not ever.”

Orcutt was released on $10,000 bond, but the rest remain detained.

Also on Thursday, police and the DEA raided Enriquez’s Enfield home on Avon Street. Officers in hazmat suits could be seen in front of the home all day, and streets around the home were blocked off from traffic.