New Britain Resident Charged with Fentanyl and Cocaine Offenses | USAO-CT

Leonard C Boyle, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England, today announced that on May 4, 2021, a federal grand jury in Hartford returned a four-count indictment charging JOSE MIGUEL VEGA-RIVERA, 49, a citizen of the Dominican Republic recently residing in New Britain, with fentanyl and cocaine offenses.

As alleged in court documents, on April 27, 2021, DEA Task Force investigators stopped a car Vega-Rivera was traveling in after he sold cocaine to an occupant of another vehicle.  A subsequent search of a New Britain apartment connected to Vega-Rivera revealed approximately one kilogram of fentanyl, more than 500 grams of cocaine, two firearms, and approximately $55,000 in cash.

The indictment charges Vega-Rivera with one count of possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years; one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years; one count of possession with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl, which carries a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life; and one count of possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, which carries a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years and a maximum term of imprisonment of 40 years.

Vega, who has been detained since his arrest on April 27, appeared today via videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge S. Dave Vatti and entered a plea of not guilty to the charges.

Acting U.S. Attorney Boyle stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt.  Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This investigation is being conducted by the DEA’s Hartford Task Force, which includes personnel from the DEA Hartford Resident Office and the Bristol, Hartford, East Hartford, Manchester, New Britain, Rocky Hill, Wethersfield, Windsor Locks and Willimantic Police Departments.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Geoffrey M. Stone 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.  Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.

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