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New London man gets 30 months for heroin distribution

Published April 24. 2014 12:00PM   Updated April 25. 2014 12:01AM

A New London man was sentenced Wednesday in New Haven federal court to 30 months in prison for distributing heroin.

Emmanuel "Manny" Blanco Balbuena, 29, was arrested in April 2013 in a major drug raid that netted more than 100 arrests. After Blanco Balbuena completes his prison term, he will be placed on three years of supervised release.

In early 2012, Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Secret Service and the New London Police Department initiated an investigation to combat the large-scale trafficking of heroin and cocaine from the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico into and around southeastern Connecticut. The investigation revealed that Luis Ariel Capellan Maldonado, also known as "Ariel," and his associates were receiving heroin from sources in the Dominican Republic and distributing it throughout New London County. Court-authorized wiretaps and physical surveillance revealed that Blanco Balbuena regularly purchased heroin from Capellan Maldonado and then sold the drug to his own customers in New London and Norwich.

On Jan. 6, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute heroin.

More than 100 individuals have been charged with federal and state offenses as a result of this investigation. Maldonado has pleaded guilty and awaits sentencing.

This federal case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alina P. Reynolds, Sarah P. Karwan and Henry K. Kopel. The state cases are being prosecuted by the State's Attorney for the New London Judicial District and senior assistant state's attorneys Paul Narducci and Stephen Carney.

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