State, local and federal officials confirmed Thursday that nine people had been arrested in a fentanyl and other opioids drug crackdown in central Connecticut.
This month, nine people were arrested on various federal charges related to fentanyl, other drugs and intent to distribute following a months-long investigation.
John Casadei, 45, of Morris, Jared Mcbriarty, 31, of Bristol, Kyle Petersen, 30, of New Britain, Carlos Enriquez, 27, of Enfield, Jesus Correa, 41, of New Britain, Isaac Ortiz, 35, of Newington, Tomasz Ziobron, 30, of New Britain and Dominique Greco, 29, of Cromwell are all in custody, while Charles Orcutt, 27, of Windsor, was released on a $10,000 bond, the U.S. attorney Deidre M. Daly said.
Daly believes this was the state's largest fentanyl bust to date.
“We believe that this groundbreaking investigation has identified a major supplier of fentanyl in our state,” said Daly. “Fentanyl is a highly dangerous synthetic opioid which can be up to 50 times more potent than heroin. In the wrong hands, it’s deadly.
DEA's Hartford Task Force and New Britain Police were informed that Peterson was selling fentanyl powder, prescription pills and marijuana.
Officials set up multiple controlled purchases of fentanyl from Peterson and wiretaps found that McBriarty was supplying Peterson with the drugs.
Wiretaps also revealed McBriarty's supplier, Casadei, who used the darknet to purchase large quantities of fentanyl from China.
Special agent in charge of the DEA of New England, Michael J. Ferguson, said often substances to create fentanyl is purchased from China and produced in Mexico but fentanyl can also be ordered from China over the internet.
Police found that in addition to fentanyl, Casadei possessed Xanax and oxycodone pills.
Peterson allegedly sold fentanyl and other drugs to Orcutt, Enriquez, Correra, Ortiz, Ziobron and Greco, who in turn, sold the substances throughout central Connecticut.
In total, officials seized $500,000 in cash, firearms, 2.5 kilograms of fentanyl, 2 kilograms of MDMA or 'Molly', 50,000 counterfeit Xanax pills, 40 pounds of marijuana, steroids and butane hash oil, the Department of Justice said.
Last month, officials created the statewide heroin and opioid law enforcement initiative to target heroin, fentanyl or opioids dealers.
“Connecticut, just like many other states in this nation, are suffering from this terrible epidemic. These tragic deaths have occurred in every corner of our state, from the smallest towns to the largest cities,” U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly said during a news conference. “No one has been spared.”
Casadei, McBriarty and Peterson are all accused of conspiracy to distribute, possession with intent to distribute, and possession of 400 grams or more of fentanyl. Peterson is also accused of possession with intent to distribute at least 400 grams of fentanyl.
Orcutt, Enriquez, Correa, Ortiz, Ziobron and Greco are accused of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute, controlled substances.