State, local and federal officers dismantle drug operation in Sterling, Canterbury

After a year-long investigation, members of several law enforcement agencies Tuesday conducted simultaneous raids in Sterling and Canterbury, resulting in the arrest of four people who police say are connected to a heroin and cocaine trafficking ring in eastern Connecticut.

Officers from the Statewide Narcotics Task Force, the Troop D Quality of Life Task Force, the Norwich Police Department and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration were conducting an investigation of the illegal sale of large amounts of heroin and cocaine from homes located at 1107 Plainfield Pike in Sterling and 3 Campbell Drive, Unit 4 in Canterbury.

As a result of the investigation, the officers along with the State Police Tactical Unit executed search and seizure warrants at the residences. During the raid, police said they seized large amounts of heroin and cocaine ready for street sale, manufacturing materials, scales and other drug paraphernalia. Police also confiscated $7,944, nine prepaid debit cards and five cars, two of which had hidden traps created to transport drugs.

Police arrested Rafael Ventura, 57, of Sterling, Leafar Ventura, 26, and Jose Manuel Martinez, 42, both of Canterbury and Yokasthia Luna, 42, of Providence, R.I. They were each charged with possession of heroin, possession of cocaine, possession of narcotics with intent to sell and operating a drug factory.

They were each held on a $150,000 cash bond, pending their arraignment today in Danielson Superior Court.


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