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December 6, 10

NEWS / Supplier of New Haven Drug Trafficking Ring Pleads Guilty to Narcotics Distribution Offense

David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that LUIS PAULINO, 39, of New York, pleaded guilty today before United States District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport to one count of possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base (“crack”).

This matter stems from an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation dubbed “Operation Brass Deal,” which was spearheaded by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Safe Streets Task Force in New Haven. As a result of the investigation, a total of 16 individuals have been charged with various narcotics offenses related to the large-scale distribution of cocaine, crack cocaine, marijuana, and oxycodone in New Haven, East Haven, Branford, West Haven, and other towns in New Haven County. During the investigation, law enforcement officers seized more than $75,000 in cash, more than one kilogram of cocaine, and approximately 750 grams of crack cocaine.

According to court documents and statements made in court, between November 2008 and May 2009, PAULINO transported cocaine and crack cocaine from New York to New Haven on behalf of New York-based cocaine supplier and made deliveries to customers. Specifically, on May 1, 2009, PAULINO sold one-half kilogram of cocaine to a co-defendant in the vicinity of Middletown Avenue in New Haven.

PAULINO also used a residence located on Huntington Road in New Haven as a stash house. A search of the property on May 2, 2009 resulted in the seizure of 497 grams of cocaine, 719 grams of crack cocaine, and $72,200 in cash.

As part of his plea, PAULINO also agreed to forfeit a Honda Accord, which he used to transport drugs, and the $72,200.

Judge Underhill has scheduled sentencing for February 11, 2011, at which time PAULINO faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years, a maximum term of imprisonment of life, and a fine of up to $4 million.

PAULINO has been detained since his arrest on May 2, 2009.

This matter was investigated by the FBI New Haven Safe Streets Task Force, which is composed of representatives of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the New Haven Police Department, the Ansonia Police Department, the Milford Police Department, the East Haven Police Department, the Connecticut State Police and the Connecticut Department of Correction. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Robert M. Spector and Christopher M. Mattei.


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AnnaMaria Realbuto
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