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14 Charged With Trafficking Heroin, Cocaine, Fentanyl In CT

Federal Courthouse in New Haven.
Federal Courthouse in New Haven. Photo Credit: U.S. Federal Courthouses

Fourteen people have been indicted on charges that allege they trafficked heroin, cocaine, and fentanyl as part of an elaborate scheme in Connecticut.

U.S. Attorney John Durham announced the unsealing of an eight-count indictment in New Haven federal court on Tuesday, June 11, that charges the 14 alleged co-conspirators for their role in purchasing the drugs from sources in Connecticut and New Jersey and distributing them in New Haven.

The charges come on the heels of an investigation launched by the Drug Enforcement Administration New Haven Task Force and New Haven Police Department. Those charged include:

  • Malbin “Chaca” Rubiera-Herrera, 28, of New Haven;
  • Juan “Manager” Lantigua-Cid, 46, of Linden, N.J.;
  • Eduardo Ramos, 33, of Philadelphia;
  • Brian “Braga” Abreu, 26, of New Haven;
  • William “Willy” Claudio-Suarez, 33, of New Haven;
  • Pedro “Cuba” or “El Brujo” Orta-Rivas, 50, of East Haven;
  • Osvaldo “Mono” Hodge, 43, of New Haven;
  • Steven Santos, 38, of Bridgeport;
  • Jose Angel Suarez, 36, of Veja Baja, Puerto Rico;
  • Mario Llanos-Ayala, 44, of Deltona, Florida;
  • Roberto “Toni” Anthony Torres, 52, of New Haven;
  • Michael Miller, 38, of New Haven;
  • Take Quntay Bellamy, 25, of New Haven;
  • Christian “Pantera” Rivera-Torres, 40, of New Haven.

The indictment alleges that Rubiera-Herrera acquired heroin and cocaine from sources in Connecticut and New Jersey and distributed the drugs through a network of associates in the greater New Haven.

Between October and December last year, investigators made controlled purchases of heroin and cocaine from Rubiera-Herrera. Durham said that “subsequent court-authorized wiretaps revealed a widespread narcotics trafficking conspiracy that involved the trafficking of kilogram-quantities of heroin into Connecticut.”

Rubiera-Herrera, Lantigua-Cid, Ramos, and Abreu were arrested on federal criminal complaints on April 30. On the day of the arrests, a search of Rubiera-Herrera’s residence on Augustine Street led to the seizure of approximately 700 gross grams of fentanyl. Investigators later arrested Santos, Torres, and Bellamy.

Miller and Rivera-Torres are being transferred from state to federal custody and Ayala is currently behind bars in New Jersey. Suarez is still being sought by investigators.

Each of the suspects was charged with conspiracy to distribute, and to possess with intent to distribute, heroin, cocaine, and fentanyl. The indictment also charges Rubiera-Herrera, Abreu, Orta-Rivas, and Hodge with additional counts of possession with intent to distribute various narcotics.

Rubiera-Herrera, Lantigua-Cid, Ramos, and Abreu face a minimum term of 10 years in prison and a maximum term of life in prison; Claudio-Suarez, Orta-Rivas, Santos, Suarez, Llanos-Ayala, and Torres face a minimum term of five years and a maximum term of 40 years in prison; Hodge, Miller, Bellamy, and Rivera-Torres face a maximum term of 20 years in prison.

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