Ten indicted on heroin trafficking charges

Ten people, including residents of New London, Norwich and Montville, were indicted Tuesday on heroin trafficking charges in connection with several heroin overdoses in Southeastern Connecticut, including two overdose deaths, according to a news release by the U.S. attorney for the District of Connecticut.

A grand jury in Hartford returned the 14-count indictment against Michael Luciano, 32, Selena Mena, 28, and Roberto Roman, aka “Indio,” 47, of New London; Eddy Pena, 29, of Montville; William Gonzalez-Nieves, 26, of Norwich; Mario Recinos, 26, of Central Falls, R.I.; Elizabeth Morales, 47, a citizen of Guatemala living in Johnston, R.I.; Maycol Campos, 36, of Attleboro, Mass.; Jose Quinones, 56, of Providence and Hector Quinones, 38, of Freetown, Mass., the news release said.

All were charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin. If convicted, Luciano, Recinos, Morales, Campos, Roman and Mena face a minimum 10 years in prison to life; Pena, Gonzalez-Nieves and Jose Quinones face a minimum five years in prison to 40 years, and Hector Quinones faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years, the release said.

Luciano, Pena, Mena, Roman and Gonzalez-Nieves also were charged with one or more counts of possession with intent to distribute, and/or distribution of, heroin, the release said. All have been detained.

The indictment stems from an investigation headed by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Connecticut State Police Statewide Narcotics Task Force - East and New London Police Department that targeted a southeastern Connecticut heroin trafficking ring. The investigation began after several heroin overdoses, including two overdose deaths involving a heroin and fentanyl mix in January 2016.

Between January and June 2017, investigators made controlled purchases of heroin from Luciano and Gonzalez-Nieves, according to court documents and statements made in court. Court-authorized wiretaps later found that Recinos and Morales, with the assistance of Campos, regularly supplied heroin on credit to Luciano, who then distributed the drug to a large customer base in southeastern Connecticut, the news release said.

Pena also supplied Luciano with heroin, the release said. Mena and Roman helped Luciano by packaging heroin for distribution, making deliveries and collecting drug payments that Luciano then delivered to Recinos and Morales, the release said.

It is further alleged that Recinos supplied Hector Quinones and Morales supplied Jose Quinones with distribution quantities of heroin.

The defendants, except for Hector Quinones, who has been incarcerated in Rhode Island for an unrelated state offense, were arrested Nov. 14. Investigators executed 12 federal search warrants that day and seized more than three kilograms of heroin, including significant quantities from Luciano, Recinos, Morales, Jose Quinones, Roman and Campos, the news release said. Investigators also seized approximately 100 grams of fentanyl from Campos, more than $14,000 in cash from Pena, and more than $13,000 in cash from Morales, the release said.

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