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One Groton man sentenced, another pleads guilty to drug charges

By Greg Smith

Publication: theday.com

Published March 20. 2014 4:00PM   Updated March 20. 2014 4:19PM

A Groton man pleaded guilty Wednesday to federal charges related to a massive drug enforcement operation that culminated last year with more than 100 arrests.

Juan G. Cheverez, also known as “Guinchi,” 32, of Groton, pleaded guilty in Hartford federal court to conspiring to import and distribute large amounts of cocaine in southeastern Connecticut, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Authorities said Cheverez received kilogram-quantities of cocaine in the mail from a source in Puerto Rico and distributed the drugs in southeastern Connecticut. He faces up to 40 years in prison at his sentencing on June 16.

In addition, two people charged with narcotics distribution offenses as a result of the same investigation were sentenced on Tuesday.

Isidro Suarez, 47, a citizen of the Dominican Republic last residing in the Bronx, N.Y., was sentenced at federal court in New Haven to 18 months in prison. Authorities said Suarez helped to broker a 200-gram heroin deal.

Orlando Gonzalez-Roman, also known as “Bebo,” 24, of Groton, was sentenced in Hartford federal court to eight months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for assisting Frankie Rivera in the distribution of cocaine out of Rivera’s auto-repair service, PR Speed Shop, in New London.

The arrests were part of an investigation that authorities say focused on heroin and cocaine operations from the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico into southeastern Connecticut. Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Secret Service and the New London Police Department were among numerous other agencies involved.

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