Providence man found guilty of heroin trafficking in southeastern Connecticut
A jury in U.S. District Court in Hartford on Wednesday found 30-year-old Eddy Pena of Providence guilty of distributing heroin in southeastern Connecticut.
He faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life. A sentencing date has not yet been scheduled.
Authorities began investigating after several heroin overdoses in southeastern Connecticut, including two deaths involving a heroin and fentanyl mix in January 2016.
The investigation, which included court-authorized wiretaps and controlled purchases of narcotics, revealed that Pena regularly supplied Michael Luciano of New London with large quantities of heroin. Evidence at trial indicated he supplied heroin to individuals in Providence, R.I., and Fall River, Mass., as early as 2012, according to the government.
Luciano, who also received heroin from sources in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, distributed the drug through a network of street-level dealers in southeastern Connecticut. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin and was sentenced on Jan. 29 to 12 years in prison.
Pena has been detained since his arrest on Nov. 14, 2017. On that date, investigators executed 12 federal search warrants and said they seized more than three kilograms of heroin from other members of the drug ring, and approximately $14,000 in cash.
The trial started Feb. 11 before U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea. On Feb. 4, Pena pleaded guilty to additional crimes, two counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute.
The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Marshals Service, Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation Division, Homeland Security Investigations, Connecticut State Police Statewide Narcotics Task Force East and the New London, Norwich, Waterford, Attleboro, Mass., and Freetown, Mass., police departments.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys S. Dave Vatti and Geoffrey M. Stone.