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Groton Police: Car dealership was a front for heroin ring, owner arrested

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GROTON –┬áPolice in the town of Groton have made what they call a “sizable seizure” Monday, as part of the Regional Community Enhancement Task Force focused on the heroin epidemic.

Jose Davila

Pretending to run a car dealership called U.S. Wholesalers on South Road, police said Jose Davila, 31, of Groton was actually running drugs.

Police seized 142 grams of heroin worth about $15,000, five cars including a Bentley luxury sedan, three motorhomes, several commercial vehicles, multiple ATVs, motorcycles and six motor scooters, Detective John Varone said. Davila, a convicted felon, also had a pistol with a sawed off serial number.

Police said the heroin was packaged for street sales and in bulk. The vehicles were all bought with profits from drug sales, according to police. “They’re actually investing it into properties and/or merchandise that they can liquidate when they need it but still have it there and try to hide it from law enforcement officials,” said Varone.

Neighbors in the area of South Road were stunned to learn about the bust. They all described the neighborhood as quiet, with a lot of children.

"It's hard to believe there's that much money and that much drugs just right up the road in town," said resident Patrick Paterson.

"There's a lot of kids around here, so it's very surprising," said resident Kim Main. "I had no idea it was over here."

Davila is charged with possession of heroin and intent to sell. He is being held on $500,000 bond and is due in court on Tuesday.

Detectives from Groton Town, Groton City, Waterford, Stonington, Ledyard, East Lyme Norwich Police Departments Adult probation, and the Department of Parole, as well as Agents from the FBI and NCIS, participated in this investigation.