Date: October 5, 2022 Contact: email@example.com Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that Algenys Paulino, also known as "Chico" and "Lying Queen," of the Bronx, New York, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant in Hartford to 87 months of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release, for supplying narcotics to members of a Waterbury-area drug trafficking ring. According to court documents and statements made in court, in May 2020, the DEA New Haven Task Force and Waterbury Police Department began an investigation into a drug trafficking organization that was distributing large amounts of heroin, cocaine and crack in the Waterbury area, and was believed to be headed by Zachary Lee Foster, who worked closely with Jason Metz of Naugatuck. The investigation included court-authorized wiretaps on multiple phones used by members of the organization, physical surveillance, controlled purchases of narcotics, and motor vehicle stops that resulted in the seizure of drugs. In December 2020 and January 2021, Paulino was intercepted multiple times on a wiretap negotiating the sale of bulk quantities of heroin and cocaine to Foster and Metz. On March 1, 2021, a federal grand jury in New Haven returned an indictment charging Paulino, Foster, Metz and 14 others. Paulino was arrested on March 2, 2021. Foster, Metz, and several associates were arrested on March 3, 2021. In association with these arrests, law enforcement executed seven search warrants and seized approximately 40,000 bags of suspected heroin, 350 grams of cocaine and 50 grams of crack cocaine, and nine firearms Paulino has been detained since his arrest. On March 1, 2022, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances. Foster and Metz also pleaded guilty. On June 8, 2022, Metz was sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment. Foster awaits sentencing. This investigation has been conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration New Haven Task Force and the Waterbury Police Department. The DEA New Haven Task Force includes participants from the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, U.S. Marshals Service, Connecticut State Police and the New Haven, Hamden, West Haven, North Haven, East Haven, Branford, Ansonia, Meriden, Derby, Middletown, Naugatuck and Waterbury Police Departments. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patrick F. Caruso and Brendan Keefe through the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Program. OCDETF identifies, disrupts and dismantles drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs and transnational criminal organizations through a prosecutor-led and intelligence-driven approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. U.S. Attorney Avery thanked the State's Attorney's Office for the Judicial District of Waterbury for its close cooperation in investigating and prosecuting this matter.