Mexican national connected to New Haven drug ring sentenced to 13 years in federal prison


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Date: December 22, 2020


Lorenzo Morales-Arambula, also known as "Viejo," a citizen of Mexico, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill to 156 months of imprisonment for trafficking cocaine and heroin.

Pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the court proceeding occurred via videoconference.

This matter stems from a joint investigation headed by the DEA New Haven Task Force which includes participants from the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, the FBI, and New Haven Police Department that included the use of court-authorized wiretaps, controlled purchases of heroin and cocaine, and seizures of bulk heroin and cocaine. The investigation revealed that Duane Filyaw, Salvatore Orsini and others operated a heroin and cocaine trafficking ring in which they conspired to purchase narcotics from suppliers and then distribute the drugs to other suppliers and street-level dealers in and around New Haven.

Court-authorized wiretaps revealed that Filyaw and Orsini had established a heroin and cocaine supply connection with Morales-Arambula. In multiple intercepted calls between Filyaw and Morales-Arambula, Morales-Arambula agreed to supply Filyaw with kilogram quantities of cocaine and heroin that Morales-Arambula would receive from sources in Mexico and northern California. However, in January 2018, before the narcotics transactions with Filyaw could be completed, Morales-Arambula was detained in Michigan and charged in federal court with unlawful reentry of a removed alien.

During the investigation, law enforcement officers seized more than 500 grams of heroin, more than 300 grams of fentanyl, more than one kilogram of cocaine, three firearms, over $90,000 in cash, vehicles, jewelry and precious metals.

On April 19, 2018, a grand jury in New Haven returned an indictment charging Morales-Arambula, Filyaw, Orsini and 16 other individuals with narcotics trafficking offenses.

Morales-Arambula has been detained since January 14, 2018. On January 28, 2020, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin and five kilograms or more of cocaine.

Morales-Arambula's criminal history includes multiple federal convictions, including convictions for firearms, drug and immigration offenses, and for causing a riot a federal correctional facility in Texas in 2008. He has been deported to Mexico twice, and subsequently reentered the U.S. without authorization. On August 21, 2018, Morales-Arambula was sentenced in the Eastern District of Michigan to 46 months of imprisonment for unlawful reentry, and a consecutive 12 months of imprisonment for violating the conditions of his supervised release that followed a prior federal conviction.

Filyaw, of New Haven, and Orsini, of West Haven, have pleaded guilty and await sentencing.

The DEA New Haven Task Force includes participants from the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division, U.S. Marshals Service, and the New Haven, Hamden, West Haven, North Haven, Branford, Ansonia, Meriden, Derby, Middletown, Naugatuck and Waterbury Police Departments. The Connecticut Department of Correction, Milford Police Department and East Haven Police Department have assisted the investigation.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys H. Gordon Hall and Patrick F. Caruso 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.