Waterbury man sentenced to 87 months in prison for role in heroin and fentanyl trafficking ring

 

Date: June 30, 2021

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

Leonard C Boyle, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that Francis Aybar-Peguero, also known as "Grena," of Waterbury, 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 his role in a heroin and fentanyl trafficking ring. Judge Bryant also ordered Aybar-Peguero to pay a fine of $30,000.

According to court documents and statements made in court, an investigation by the DEA New Haven Task Force and the Waterbury Police Department revealed that Nestor Sosa-Ortiz operated a Waterbury-based drug trafficking organization that received large quantities of heroin and fentanyl from suppliers in Connecticut and New York and distributed the narcotics throughout New Haven County. The organization used an apartment located at 330 Bishop Street in Waterbury to store kilogram-quantities of heroin and fentanyl, and to process and package the drugs for street sale.

On May 18, 2019, Sosa-Ortiz was arrested in New York City on a separate federal heroin and fentanyl trafficking charge. On that date, law enforcement intercepted a planned drug transaction and seized approximately two kilograms of fentanyl and two kilograms of heroin. Sosa-Ortiz continued to control his drug network while incarcerated by using smuggled cell phones to communicate with various co-conspirators.

The investigation revealed that Aybar-Peguero received fentanyl and heroin from members of the Sosa-Ortiz organization and sold the drugs out of his business, the Corner Mini market located on East Farm Road in Waterbury.

Aybar-Peguero and several co-defendants were arrested on October 29, 2019. On that date, investigators executed search warrants at five locations, including the Corner Mini Market, and seized a total of approximately six kilograms of suspected heroin/fentanyl, approximately 100,000 bags of suspected heroin/fentanyl packaged for street distribution, approximately 1,000 fentanyl pills disguised as Percocet pills, one firearm and approximately $50,000 in cash.

Further investigation revealed that the Corner Mini Market was primarily being used by Aybar-Peguero to distribute narcotics and to launder drug proceeds.

Law enforcement seized approximately $98,000 from Aybar-Peguero's business bank account.

On September 30, 2020, Aybar-Peguero pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin and 400 grams or more of fentanyl, and one count of concealment money laundering.

Aybar-Peguero, who is released on bond, is required to report to prison on August 25, 2021.

Sixteen individuals were charged as a result of this investigation. Sosa-Ortiz has pleaded guilty and 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 U.S. Marshals Service, Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division, and the New Haven, Hamden, West Haven, North Haven, Branford, Ansonia, Meriden, Derby, Middletown, Naugatuck and Waterbury Police Departments.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jocelyn Courtney Kaoutzanis, and Lauren Clark 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.