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A 36-year-old Jewett City man who was part of a heroin distribution ring dismantled by a joint law enforcement investigation last year was sentenced today in U.S. District Court to 41 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.
Aaron Moore, also known as “Natural Perfection Be-Allah,” has been detained since he was arrested by Norwich police in January 2013. He pleaded guilty in January 2014 to possession with intent to distribute heroin. His criminal history includes multiple drug-related convictions and convictions for robbery and assault.
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. Moore was identified as a heroin customer of Emmanuel Blanco Balbuena, who regularly obtained distribution quantities of heroin from Capellan Maldonado.
On Jan. 24, 2013, members of the Norwich Police Department arranged to make a controlled purchase of heroin from Moore at a Goodwill store in Norwich. After entering the store, Moore apparently identified the officers and quickly discarded a plastic bag onto one of the shelves in the store. Using the store’s video surveillance system, officers were able to find the plastic bag, which contained approximately 24 grams of heroin packaging material. A subsequent search of Moore’s vehicle revealed $20,020 in cash that had been hidden in a computer tower in the car.
Capellan Maldonado and Blanco Balbuena have pleaded guilty. Balbuena was sentenced to 30 months of imprisonment on April 23. Capellan Maldonado awaits sentencing.