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Newtown emergency dispatcher pleads guilty to distributing steroids

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Jason Chickos (Credit: Newtown Bee)

HARTFORD–A former police dispatcher who was arrested on drug charges has pleaded guilty.

Jason Chickos, 46, of Bridgeport, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute anabolic steroids.

Chickos was arrested on April 29, along with seven others, in a raid called “Operation Juice Box,” which was executed by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, made up of members from the FBI, Drug Enforcemnt Administration, Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Marshals and U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

Through the use of wire and electronic surveillance over a two-month period, it was revealed that police officers, a judicial marshal, and other individuals had not only participated in distributing steroids and oxycodone, but also in allegedly importing steroids from China.

Chickos, specifically, admitted to purchasing anabolic steroids from another member of the conspiracy, and then distributing the steroids to others. He was hired by the town  of Newtown as an emergency communications dispatcher on April 1, 2012, and he made approximately $54,450 per year. He was still employed in that role during the commission of the crimes.

Chickos will be sentenced on January 11, 2016, and faces a maximum of 10 years imprisonment. He remains out on $100,000 bond.

During Operation Juice Box, hundreds of vials of steroids, approximately 600 grams of raw testosterone powder, approximately 350 grams of powder cocaine and four guns were seized.

Here are a list of the other individuals who were arrested:

  • Newtown Police Sgt. Steven Santucci, 38, of Waterbury
  • Jeffrey Gentile, 33, of Ansonia, who is a judicial marshal for the state of Connecticut
  • Alex Kenyhercz, 28, of Ansonia
  • Mark Bertanza, 33, of Shelton
  • Frank Pecora, 53, of Derby
  • Steven Fernandes, 54, of Southington
  • Michael D. Mase, 32, of Sherman

According to wiretaps and officer statements who witnessed the crimes, Sgt. Santucci allegedly obtained shipments of steroids from China starting in 2011, and also manufactured and distributed his own steroids. Santucci then provided the drugs to Kenyhercz, who subsequently sold the drugs to Bertanza, who was a local steroid distributor. Chicos, Mase and Fernandes were customers who also distributed steroids in smaller quantities to their own customers.

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