29 arrested in Hartford’s South End for gang-related charges

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HARTFORD–More than two dozen people were arrested by a joint task force related to gang-related drug charges.

The U.S. attorney for Connecticut, Dierdre Daly, released a statement on Tuesday announcing that the FBI’s Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes Task Force and Hartford Police worked together starting in September 2014 to investigate narcotics distribution and gun trafficking in the South End.

The investigation was specifically into members and associates of Los Solidos, a gang that operates in the South End of Hartford. The investigation utilized court-authorized wiretaps, undercover purchases of heroin, crack cocaine and firearms, and 15 searches.

In all, 24 firearms were seized, along with $74,000, two kilograms of crack cocaine, two kilograms of powder cocaine, one kilogram of heroin, 7,000 bangs of packaged heroin, 10 pounds of marijuana and four cars.

The investigation was part of Project Longevity, which seeks to reduce gun violence in Connecticut’s major cities.

Last week a grand jury indicted 28 individuals; 24 were arrested on Monday, two were already incarcerated, and two are still being sought by police. A 29th person was arrested during the Monday raid in which the others were arrested.

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners will use the full weight of federal law to make our cities safer by identifying violent gangs and prosecuting members and associates involved in drug trafficking and related activity,” said Daly.   “Project Longevity exists to give every member of a group participating in criminal behavior a new path to become a contributing member of society.  This prosecution should send a clear message to those who choose to resist a lifestyle change that the path they’re currently taking may very well lead to a federal courtroom.”

Here is a list of those arrested and charged with conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute heroin:

  • Melvin Castro, aka Humacoa, 22, of Hartford
  • Luis Castor, aka Cano, 43, of Hartford
  • Francisco Sanchez-Reyes, aka Chino, 37 of Hartford
  • Hernan Gonzalez, 26, of Hartford
  • Manuel Lozado, aka Mayo, 25, of Hartford

In the above indictment, Castro was also charged with 12 counts of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of Heroin. Gonzalez and Lozado were charged with one count of each. Castro was also charged with three counts of possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon. Marrero, 22, of East Hartford, was also charged in this indictment with one count of possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon.

The following individuals are charged in a separate indictment:

  • Felix Jimenez, aka PR, 30, of Hartford
  • Rogelio Ortega, 45, of Manhcester
  • Sandro Ruiz, aka Domi, 41, of Hartford
  • Richard Cruz, aka Gotti, 25 of Windsor Locks
  • Joanna Negron, 36, of Hartford

In this indictment, Jimenez and Ortega are charged with conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine. Jimenez is also charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute, distribution of heroin, one count of the use of a telephone in the commission of a drug trafficking felony, and two counts of possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon. Ruiz and Negron were charged with one count each of use of a telephone in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

The following were charged in an indictment with conspiracy to distribute and to posses with intent to distribute cocaine products:

  • Vincente Rivera, aka Macho, 35, of Hartford
  • Basilia Gomez, 30, of Hartford
  • Jorge Gomez, aka Joe, 29, of Hartford
  • Pedro Roman, aka Tony, 38, of Hartford

In this indictment, Rivera was also charged with 11 counts of possession with intent to distribute, distribution of a cocaine product, and one count of possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon. Also, William Perez, aka Jay, 30, of East Hartford, was charged with one count of possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon. Lastly, Edward Blair, 33, of Hartford; Morris Lanier, 23, of Hartford; and Nahkia Roberts, 30, of Willimantic were each charged with one count of use of a telephone in the commission of a drug trafficking felony.

In another indictment, Eduardo Zayas, aka Za, 31, of East Hartford; and Michael Kelley, 34, of New Britain, were charged with conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute a cocaine product. Zayas was also charged with possession with intent to distribute a cocaine product, possession with intent to distribute heroin, possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes, and possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon.  Kelley was also charged two counts of with possession with intent to distribute cocaine base, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, and maintaining a drug-involved premises.

In that indictment, Shawn Karjohn 37, of Hartford; Richard Jewell, 40, of Hartford; and Christopher Rosa, 32, of Hartford were all charged with the use of a telephone in the commission of a drug trafficking felony. Karjohn was also charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine base.

The following are charged in four separate indictments

  • Edgardo Torres, aka Eggy, 36, of East Hartford, was charged with 14 counts of possessing with intent to distribute, and distribution of heroin and crack cocaine
  • Jose Serrano, 30, of Hartford, was charged with one count of possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon
  • Eric Ortiz, aka Nice, 34, of Hartford, was charged with four counts of possession with intent to distribute heroin
  • Miguel Diaz, aka Smooth, 35, of Wethersfield, was charged with two counts of possession with intent to distribute heroin, one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and one count of possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon
  • Carlos Rivera, 24, of Hartford, was arrested on a criminal complaint, not through an indictment. He was charged with possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon and possession with intent to distribute heroin and crack cocaine.