DEA News, National Field Branches, Boston News Releases, 1/25/07 (2023)

Press release
January 25, 2007

19 Accused in a multi-state drug deal
During the investigation, several kilos of cocaine were seized, sent by US mail.

January 25th-- June W. Stansbury, Special Agent, New England Drug Enforcement Administration, and Kevin J. O'Connor, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced today that a federal grand jury in Hartford returned eight indictments against 19 people with various drug crimes involving the large-scale distribution of cocaine and heroin in Hartford, Bridgeport, Fall River, Massachusetts and other cities in the northeastern United States. The indictment was returned on June 29, 2006 and remained sealed to allow for the arrest of the defendants. The case was later closed, and earlier this month, two of the three remaining refugees were arrested. So far, 18 of the 19 accused have been arrested. Two of the defendants pleaded guilty.

The allegations stem from an investigation by the Drug and Organized Crime Task Force ("OCDETF"), dubbed "Operation Ragdoll," led by the Hartford Drug Enforcement Administration. As is clear from the indictment, from January 2006 to June 20, 2006, the main focus of the investigation was, among other things,LUIS JOEL SOTO-SOLIVAN, also known as "The 27", ran a drug trade based in Fall River, Massachusetts, supplying drugs to various distributors in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York and Pennsylvania. The alleged distributors are co-defendants,SAMUEL MARTINEZ, also known as "Muelo" and "Sammy", in Hartford, Connecticut;JIMMY VALENTINE, w Brockton, Massachusetts;ANDRES HERNANDEZ, also known as "El Pelu" and "Andy", in Rochester, New YorkDOMINGO GUZMAN, also known as "Mingo", in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Furthermore, during this period,DOMINGO GUZMANallegedly operated his own Bridgeport-based drug trafficking ring that supplied drugs to various wholesale distributors in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, including co-defendant SOTO-SOLIVAN in Fall River;BANGER VERGARA, also known as "Valdil" and "Bangel", in Holyoke, Massachusetts, andMARCOS RIVAS, also known as "El Negro" in Pennsylvania.

According to the indictmentCARMELO RONDON FELICIANO, also known as the "Panzon" of Puerto Rico, supplied SOTO-SOLIVAN and DOMINGO GUZMAN with large amounts of heroin and cocaine. One of the methods allegedly used by RONDON FELICIANO to ship the drugs was to ship them from Puerto Rico to the continental United States using the express courier service provided by the United States Postal Service. The indictment alleges that between February 2006 and June 20, 2006, FELICIANO and other suppliers sent SOTO-SOLIVAN and DOMINGO GUZMAN at least 15 express shipments that contained controlled substances. On June 1, 2006 and June 15, 2006, Drug Enforcement Administration and US Postal Inspection Service officers intercepted and seized two of these express shipments. The June 1 package was shipped to SOTO-SOLIVAN at 25B Pleasant View, Fall River, Massachusetts and contained two kilograms of individually wrapped cocaine and approximately 250 grams of a non-narcotic cutting agent commonly used as a cocaine diluent. The June 15 package was sent to SUNDAY GUZMAN at 19 Seeley Street in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and contained two individually wrapped kilograms of cocaine.

The investigation involved the use of wiretaps on cell phones used by SOTO-SOLIVAN and DOMINGO GUZMAN and tracking purchases of various amounts of heroin and crack cocaine by both individuals.

The indictment charges the following 19 individuals with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute cocaine:

LUIS JOEL SOTO-SOLIVAN, aka "The 27", age 34, of 275 Colony Street, Fall River, Massachusetts;

DOMINGO GUZMAN, aka "Mingo", 30, 355 Chamberlain Avenue, Bridgeport;

AUREA CASIANO, lat 53, z Chicago, Illinois;

EDGARDO DIAZ, aka "Galdy" and "Ears", 33, from Puerto Rico;

CARMELO RONDON FELICIANO, also known as the "Panzon" of Puerto Rico;

MOISÉS FIGUEIRA, also known as the "Indio" of Puerto Rico;

JOEL GUZMAN, lat 32, z 106 Judson Place, Bridgeport;

ANDRES HERNANDEZ, aka "El Pelu" and "Andy," 31, of 58 Dodge Street, Rochester, New York;

SAMUEL MARTINEZ, aka "Muelo" and "Sammy," 30, Hartford;

MARCOS RIVAS, also known as "El Negro",

SHIRLEY RIVERA, aka "Sheila", 29, 355 Chamberlain Avenue, Bridgeport;

SANTIAGOS ENGEL, aka "Mambru", 34, of 258 Pleasant View, Fall River;

HECTOR SANTIAGO, aka "Pito", 32, from Hartford;

JÓZES SANTIAGO, aka "Neylom", 31, from Brockton, Massachusetts;

ENGEL SOTO, lat 30, z 275 County Road, Fall River;

WILMARY TORRES, 30 anos; de 25B Pleasant View, Fall River;

FIND TOWERS; 27 lat, z 7D Pleasant View, Fall River;

JIMMY VALENTINE; 29 years old, from Brockton and

BANGER VERGARA, aka "Valdil" and "Bangel", 31, from Holyoke, Massachusetts.

In addition to the 19 defendants charged in the indictment, the crime involves the seizure of drug products and items used to facilitate drug trafficking, including over $100,000 in cash and four separate vehicles, totaling over $100,000. .


The Connecticut DEA arrested VERGAR in Massachusetts on January 9, 2007, when he appeared in state court to be convicted on non-drug charges. VERGARA was indicted on January 16 before US Supreme Court Justice Donna F. Martinez. After a pre-trial hearing, Judge Martinez issued an order for VERGARA's detention pending trial.

On January 12, 2007, law enforcement in Chicago, Illinois located CASIANO and served her with a federal arrest warrant in the case. CASIANO was indicted yesterday, January 23, in federal court in New Haven, before the United States Justice of the Peace, Joan G. Margolis. CASIANO was released on bail pending trial.

MARCOS RIVAS is currently wanted by the police.

As for SOTO-SOLIVAN, DOMINGO GUZMAN and RONDON FELICIANO, the indictment alleges that the conspiracy involved at least five kilograms of cocaine. If convicted of that charge, each defendant faces a maximum sentence of life in prison, a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and a maximum fine of $4 million. Filing a second notice of wrongdoing under federal law would double those penalties.

As for HERNANDEZ, MARTINEZ, ANGEL SANTIAGO, VALENTIN, DIAZ, JOEL GUZMAN, RIVAS and VERGARA, the indictment alleges that the conspiracy involved 500 grams or more of cocaine. If convicted of that charge, each defendant faces a maximum of 40 years in prison, a mandatory five-year minimum sentence, and a maximum fine of $2 million. Filing a second criminal complaint under a federal statute would also double those penalties.

As for FIGUEROA, JOSE SANTIAGO, SOTO, WILMARY TORRES, WINDY TORRES, CASIANO and RIVERA, the indictment alleges that the conspiracy involved an amount of cocaine. If convicted of that charge, each defendant faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million.

The indictment also charges SOTO-SOLIVAN, DOMINGO GUZMAN, RONDON FELICIANO, MARTINEZ, HECTOR SANTIAGO and VERGARA with conspiracy to possess and distribute 100 grams or more of heroin. If convicted of that charge, each defendant faces a maximum of 40 years in prison, a mandatory five-year minimum sentence, and a maximum fine of $2 million. Filing a second notice of wrongdoing under federal law would double those penalties.

The indictment also charges SOTO-SOLIVAN with three separate counts of distributing heroin, each carrying a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million, and one count of distributing 100 grams or more of heroin, which contains maximum 40 years, years in prison, mandatory minimum term of five years, and maximum fine of $2 million.

Ultimately, the prosecution charges DOMINGO GUZMAN with distributing 50 grams or more of base cocaine ("crack"), which carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years, and a maximum fine of $4 million.

On January 17, 2007, JOSE SANTIAGO pleaded guilty to proxy information accusing him of using a communication device in furtherance of a conspiracy to distribute heroin. He will be sentenced by District Judge Peter C. Dorsey in New Haven on April 9, 2007, after which SANTIAGO faces up to four years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

On January 23, 2007, Valentin pleaded guilty to the first charge, charging him with conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine. Judge Dorsey scheduled sentencing for April 12, 2007, when VALENTIN faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years, a maximum sentence of 40 years and a fine of up to $2 million.

As for the other defendants, District Attorney O'Connor emphasized that the charge is only an allegation, not proof of guilt. Every accused person is entitled to a fair trial, with the government bearing the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

US Attorney O'Connor commended the law enforcement officials and agents who conducted the investigation and commended their dedicated efforts to identify, disrupt and dismantle this significant drug trafficking operation.

This investigation is a joint effort between the Drug Enforcement Administration, the New Britain Police Department and the Fall River (MA) Police Department.


Is DEA federal or state? ›

The DEA was established in 1973 as the federal organization in charge of enforcing the controlled substances laws of the United States.

What is the difference between the FBI and the DEA? ›

The FBI is a primary law enforcement agency for the U.S. government, charged with enforcement of more than 200 categories of federal laws. The DEA is a single-mission agency charged with enforcing drug laws. The ATF primarily enforces federal firearms statutes and investigates arsons and bombings.

How does the DEA investigate drug cases? ›

The DEA investigates drug cases through a multifaceted approach, utilizing three primary types of intelligence – tactical, investigative, and strategic. Tactical intelligence focuses on real-time information that supports arrests, seizures, and interdictions, enabling agents to respond effectively to immediate threats.

What does the DEA do with drugs? ›

The mission of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is to ensure the safety and health of American communities by combating criminal drug networks bringing harm, violence, overdoses, and poisonings to the United States.

Is it hard to become a DEA agent? ›

Is it hard to become a DEA agent? The DEA's hiring process can take up to 12 months, involving numerous difficult steps. It is tough but rewarding for those who successfully complete all the hiring phases.

What guns do DEA agents carry? ›

DEA agents' primary service weapons are the Glock 17 and Glock 19, Remington 870 12-gauge shotgun, and Rock River Arms LAR-15 semi-automatic carbine in 5.56×45mm NATO.

Who gets paid more FBI or DEA? ›

In a four-year period, there were 22,800 crime authorizations (2011-2014). The FBI paid approximately $294 million (FY2012-2018), the DEA paid at least $237 million (FY2011-2015), and ATF paid approximately $17.2 million total (FY2012-2015) to informants.

What is the most secretive federal agency? ›

Since President Truman's memo was a classified document, the existence of the NSA was not known to the public at that time. Due to its ultra-secrecy the U.S. intelligence community referred to the NSA as "No Such Agency".

Does the CIA work with the DEA? ›

CIA Headquarters and DEA's Intelligence Division at DEA Headquarters periodically exchanged information regarding drug trafficking in foreign countries.

Does the DEA ever call doctors? ›

The DEA will never contact a physician by telephone and request personal or sensitive information. They present information about legal actions or legitimate investigations in person and/or by mail on official letterhead.

How do you know if the DEA is investigating you? ›

Usually, you will find out you are under investigation when agents come to your door, or otherwise approach you to ask you questions about a case you are suspected in. You may also hear from others that agents are asking questions about you.

Can you be in the DEA if you have done drugs? ›

DEA is firmly committed to a drug-free society and workplace. Applicants for employment with the DEA, to include paid and unpaid employees; and contractors, who are currently using illegal drugs, or abusing legal drugs or substances at the time of the application process, will not be selected for employment.

What is the highest ranking DEA agent? ›

Special agent in charge (SAC)

The SAC is the head of a specific region or office and supervises the ASACs. They are the highest-ranking DEA agent in their region and are directly assigned by officials from the Department of Justice.

Why would the DEA come to my house? ›

If the DEA has reached out to you, it probably means they are suspicious of the distribution, use or prescribing of controlled substances from your practice. Your lawyer should immediately begin to look over patient files and records, looking for anything that the DEA might see as a red flag.

How old can a DEA agent be? ›

To be eligible to apply, you need to meet the following criterion: Must be 21 years old, and no older than 36 years old at the time of appointment. Hold U.S. citizenship. Possess a valid U.S. driver's license.

What is the average age of DEA agents? ›

Drug Enforcement Agent Age Breakdown

Interestingly enough, the average age of drug enforcement agents is 40+ years old, which represents 69% of the population.

Does DEA do a polygraph? ›

You must possess and maintain a valid state driver's license. You must pass a pre-employment polygraph examination. If you do not pass the pre- employment polygraph examination, you will not be eligible for hire in a DEA Special Agent position.

What security clearance do DEA agents have? ›

The applicant must hold National Security Information (“NSI”) eligibility, issued by DOD/DSS at the TOP Secret or Interim Top Secret level. Accordingly, requests for personnel security background investigations and adjudication of eligibility for security clearances shall be performed through DOD/DSS.

Does DEA have SWAT? ›

Drug Enforcement Agency Special Response Team

DEA SRTs are the agency's special weapons and tactics (SWAT) teams. Their role includes performing high risk arrests and search warrants, vehicle interdictions, close protection for VIPs and specialist surveillance operations.

What gun does Secret Service carry? ›

CONFIRMED: US Secret Service Adopts Glock 19, Glock 47 MOS Gen5 Pistols. The U.S. Secret Service has officially adopted Glock as its new duty pistol. Since 1998, the Secret Service has armed its agents with a duty carry SIG Sauer P229 pistol in .

Do DEA agents get take home cars? ›

Virtually all major agencies assign every special agent an unmarked take-home law enforcement vehicle, commonly referred to as the "G-Ride." All special agents are required to live within 50 miles of their home office.

What is the highest paying job in the world? ›

Top 10 Highest Paying Jobs in the World [A Complete Guide]
  • Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
  • General Surgeon.
  • Senior Software Engineer. Explore our Popular Software Engineering Courses.
  • Investment Banker.
  • Data Scientist.
  • IT Systems Manager.
  • Corporate Lawyer.
  • Project Manager.

Do DEA agents move a lot? ›

DEA agents travel frequently and even relocate for work assignments. Agents with foreign language skills may receive assignments to relevant foreign offices operating in 68 countries across eight regions.

What is the most brutal intelligence agency? ›

Mossad – Surrounded by enemies all around, Israel created Mossad in 1949. Over the years, it has emerged as the most feared spy agency in the world. Mossad is widely known for its remorseless covert operations such as the assassination of all suspects who were involved in the massacre at 1972 Munich Olympic Games.

Which is the No 1 secret agency in the world? ›

1. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - US.

What is the hardest federal agency to get into? ›

I would say the CIA and Secret Service have particularly grueling processes. If you are going the clandestine route in the CIA, then you have go through two years at the “Farm” in Virginia in which they can drop you for any reason.

Do DEA go undercover? ›

DEA special agents are trained to operate within some of the most dangerous criminal environments imaginable. They may infiltrate criminal organizations as undercover financiers, middlemen or buyers.

Can you tell people you work for the CIA? ›

No, you are not supposed to run around telling everyone that you work at the CIA. But it is simply not true that you are forbidden under penalty of death or imprisonment from telling anyone that info.

Which country does CIA agent belong to? ›

Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), principal foreign intelligence and counterintelligence agency of the U.S. government.

What is the highest reward for a wanted person? ›

The FBI has increased the rewards offered to capture individuals on its Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list to up to $250,000. Alejandro “Alex” Castillo was added to the list in October 2017.

Who is the biggest drug lord in the world? ›

CEO of the Sinaloa cartel, "El Chapo" is the world's most powerful drug trafficker. The cartel is responsible for an estimated 25% of all illegal drugs that enter the U.S. via Mexico. Drug enforcement experts estimate, conservatively, that the cartel's annual revenues may exceed $3 billion.

What is a DEA agent called? ›

Join the DEA and make a difference in the safety and security of your nation and community.

Can the DEA text you? ›

DEA personnel will never contact members of the public or medical practitioners to demand money or any other form of payment, will never request personal or sensitive information, and will only notify people of a legitimate investigation or legal action in person or by official letter.

Do DEA agents have badge numbers? ›

In the badge's center is information identifying its owner as a DEA special agent. Each badge is numbered, and agents will have the same badge throughout their careers.

Can the DEA tap your cell phone? ›

Federal agents cannot simply start tapping your phone without first obtaining court approval. In its request, the Department of Justice must include a description of who will be subject to the wiretap and its details under 18 U.S.C. § 2518.

What are the signs the feds are watching you? ›

The most common signs of being under investigation include talking to your friends, employees acting abnormally, and even an investigator leaving a business card on your door. Oftentimes, if the DOJ or FBI brings you under its investigation 'claws,' they may not confirm that you are a target.

How do you tell if you're being set up by cops? ›

Confirming Physical Surveillance
  1. a person being somewhere he has no purpose being or for doing something he has no reason to be doing (blatant poor demeanor) or something more subtle.
  2. moving when the target moves.
  3. communicating when the target moves.
  4. avoiding eye contact with the target.
  5. making sudden turns or stops.
Sep 1, 2022

Do DEA agents make good money? ›

As of May 29, 2023, the average annual pay for a Dea Agent in California is $80,189 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $38.55 an hour. This is the equivalent of $1,542/week or $6,682/month.

Can the DEA take your money? ›

If you bring cash to the airport, the DEA might seize the U.S. Currency for forfeiture. If a local law enforcement agency seized the property, DEA might “adopt” the property for forfeiture under 21 U.S.C. 881. After the property is seized, you should receive a receipt.

What is the difference between the FBI and the DEA special agent? ›

The FBI is a primary law enforcement agency for the U.S. government, charged with enforcement of more than 200 categories of federal laws. The DEA is a single-mission agency charged with enforcing drug laws. The ATF primarily enforces federal firearms statutes and investigates arsons and bombings.

How hard is it to be a DEA agent? ›

Is it hard to become a DEA agent? The DEA's hiring process can take up to 12 months, involving numerous difficult steps. It is tough but rewarding for those who successfully complete all the hiring phases.

Can DEA agents make arrests? ›

Essentially, this means a peace officer or DEA agent can make an arrest if there is good reason to suspect you committed a felony or a gross misdemeanor and/or if a warrant has been issued or charges have been levied.

What do DEA agents major in? ›

A bachelor's degree is required for DEA applicants and special consideration is given to those applicants who have degrees in criminal justice, police science, or related fields. Your GPA needs to be 2.95 or higher to be considered.

How long can the DEA hold you? ›

Hold Limits After an Arrest in Arizona: Law enforcement can hold you for 48 hours before they must charge you. You will still have an arrest record that might be expunged.

What triggers a DEA investigation? ›

There are several reasons why this could be the case, including improper medication practices, malpractice, drug trafficking etc. If you find out about such an incident, it is crucial that you seek legal help as soon as possible.

What are the three types of crimes the DEA handles? ›

The DEA collects three types of drug intelligence - tactical, investigative, and strategic. Tactical information is used for arrests, seizures, and interdictions.

Who does the DEA fall under? ›

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is a component of the Department of Justice, along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and others.

What is the difference between the DEA and the ATF? ›

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) combats trafficking in illicit drugs. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) regulates commerce in legal but somewhat restricted items. Not the same thing at all.

What is DEA federal agency? ›

The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) provides military intelligence to warfighters, defense policymakers and force planners in the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community in support of U.S. military planning and operations, and weapon systems acquisition.

Do DEA agents pay taxes? ›

After a federal tax rate of 22% has been taken out, Dea Agents could expect to have a take-home pay of $58,011/year, with each paycheck equaling approximately $2,417 *.

How many DEA agents are there in the USA? ›

Administrator Anne Milgram

As Administrator, she leads an agency of more than 10,000 public servants—including more than 4,000 Special Agents and nearly 900 Intelligence Analysts—who work in 241 offices across the United States and 93 foreign offices across the globe.

What is the acceptance rate for the DEA? ›

The process of becoming a DEA agent isn't an easy one. Only about 5% of applicants are hired. The process starts with having to pass a physical task assessment that includes push-ups, sit-ups, a 300-meter sprint and a one-and-a-half mile run.

Does ATF know what guns I own? ›

ATF does not maintain a federal gun registry, therefore, records are not kept on the sales of firearms, private sales or information on individual purchasers,” an ATF spokesperson told ABC News.

Are DEA agents special agents? ›

The DEA is America's resolute force fighting against the illegal drug trade. DEA Special Agents pursue the most notorious trafficking and narco-terrorist organizations that threaten our country. Special Agent duties include: Gathering and processing evidence to help prosecute major violators of U.S. drug laws.

What's the difference between CIA and DEA? ›

DIA and CIA are both members of the Intelligence Community. The CIA is focused on providing intelligence to the president and his Cabinet, whereas DIA is the principal source of foreign intelligence to combat-related missions.

What is DEA in military? ›

Get more information about the Fry Scholarship. The Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance (DEA) program offers education and training to qualified dependents of these service members: Veterans who are permanently and totally disabled because of a service-related condition, or.

How much do DEA agents make in retirement? ›

Total Pay Estimate & Range

The estimated total pay for a Retired at DEA is $118,163 per year.

Do DEA agents make a lot of money? ›

As of May 31, 2023, the average annual pay for a Dea Special Agent in California is $66,767 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $32.10 an hour. This is the equivalent of $1,283/week or $5,563/month.

How much do top DEA agents make? ›

How Much Do Dea Agent Jobs Pay per Year? $40,500 is the 25th percentile. Salaries below this are outliers. $100,000 is the 75th percentile.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Velia Krajcik

Last Updated: 11/14/2023

Views: 5793

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (74 voted)

Reviews: 89% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Velia Krajcik

Birthday: 1996-07-27

Address: 520 Balistreri Mount, South Armand, OR 60528

Phone: +466880739437

Job: Future Retail Associate

Hobby: Polo, Scouting, Worldbuilding, Cosplaying, Photography, Rowing, Nordic skating

Introduction: My name is Velia Krajcik, I am a handsome, clean, lucky, gleaming, magnificent, proud, glorious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.