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CT Gang Member Known As 'Mafia' Sentenced For Distributing Fentanyl

That much fentanyl can be fatal, the DEA says.
That much fentanyl can be fatal, the DEA says. Photo Credit: United States Drug Enforcement Administration

A Connecticut gang member known as “Mafia” with a rap sheet that spans decades will spend more than three years in prison after admitting to distributing fentanyl.

New Haven resident Anthony “Mafia” Esposito, age 52, was sentenced this week in federal court to 46 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release for narcotics trafficking and firearm possession offenses, U.S. Attorney John Durham announced.

Durham said that in 2018, the FBI’s Northern Connecticut Gang Task Force began investigating Ricardo Reyes, also known as “Rick the Ruler,” a member of the Los Solidos street gang who was distributing fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, and crack in the area of Park Street and Hungerford Street in Hartford.

“During the investigation, law enforcement conducted multiple controlled purchases of narcotics from Reyes,” Durham said. "Court-authorized wiretaps confirmed that Reyes was distributing narcotics to numerous customers, and identified individuals who supplied drugs to Reyes and associates who sold drugs on his behalf.

“Intercepted communications also revealed Reyes was acquiring and trafficking firearms.”

During the investigation, police said that Reyes supplied Esposito, also a member of Los Solidos, with fentanyl that he sold in New Haven, leading to his arrest on June 17, 2019.

On June 27, 2019, a grand jury Hartford returned a 32-count indictment charging Reyes, Esposito, and 13 associates with various drug trafficking and weapons charges.

Esposito has been detained since his arrest. He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, fentanyl on Aug. 6 last year.

According to Durham, Esposito’s criminal history spans 30 years and includes convictions for weapons, drug, and violent crime offenses, including a 1998 federal conviction for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and a 2003 state conviction for first-degree sexual assault.

Reyes has also pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing.

Durham noted that the FBI’s Northern Connecticut Gang Task Force includes members of the Hartford Police Department, East Hartford Police Department, New Britain Police Department, West Hartford Police Department, Connecticut State Police and Connecticut Department of Correction. The Hartford Police Department’s Vice and Narcotics Division also assisted in the investigation.

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