Nine people were charged by indictment with participating in a drug trafficking ring that obtained more than 80,000 oxycodone pills by way of fraudulent prescriptions.
“The diversion and trafficking of prescription narcotics is a serious threat to public health, and disrupting criminal organizations involved in this activity and prosecuting those involved is a priority of the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” said U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly who commended the DEA and Tactical Diversion Squad on their long-running investigation.
The charges were announced on Friday by Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Michael J. Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England.
“The DEA is committed to investigating and bringing to justice those who illicitly distribute oxycodone,”
“Opiate abuse is a major problem in Connecticut and throughout New England,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Ferguson. “The diversion of prescription pain killers, in this case oxycodone, contributes to the widespread abuse of opiates, the gateway to heroin addiction.”
According to court documents and statements made in court, in 2012, members of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Haven Tactical Diversion Squad began an investigation into a drug trafficking organization that manufactured fraudulent prescriptions for oxycodone and distributed the drug in the greater New Haven area.
As part of the conspiracy, members of organization obtained the personal identifying information of medical practitioners and used the information to create fraudulent prescriptions.
Conspiracy members also purchased legitimate prescriptions for oxycodone from individuals. The organization then used individuals, or “runners,” to fill the fraudulent prescriptions at pharmacies throughout Connecticut.
Once a runner provided his or her personal information to a member of the organization, the runner’s information was kept on file and used to create other fraudulent prescriptions.
Since February 2013, the organization has stolen the personal identifying information of more than 50 doctors and medical professionals and fraudulently obtained more than 80,000 oxycodone pills.
On September 22, 2015, a federal grand jury in New Haven returned a six-count indictment charging the following individuals:
JULIAN CINTRON, a.k.a. “Papi” and Jay,” 36, of New Haven
DAVID THOMPSON, a.k.a. “Super Dave,” 41, of New Haven
ALEJANDRINO DeJESUS, a.k.a. “Baby Boo,” 37, of New Haven
ANGEL MATEO, a.k.a., “Chickyding,” 36, of New Haven
ROBERT WILLIAMS, a.k.a., “Bo,” “Positive” and “Shawn,” 35, of Meriden
LARISSA ARABOLOS, 25, of East Haven
MATTHEW GIGLIETTI, 35, of East Haven
CHRISTOPHER LEVIX, a.k.a. “Scarface,” 33 of New Haven
ANTHONY PALMIERI, a.k.a. “Ant” and “Turtle,” 38, of New Haven
As alleged in court documents, Cintron and Thompson have been leaders of the conspiracy since 2013. Cintron, Thompson and Arabolos manufactured fraudulent oxycodone prescriptions for the organization, and DeJusus, Mateo, Williams, Giglietti and Levis recruited and transported runners. Palieri transported runners, and also distributed oxycodone obtained by Cintron and Thompson.
The indictment charges each of the defendants with one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute oxycodone, an offense the carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years, and one count of conspiracy to acquire oxycodone by fraud and forgery, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of four years.
The indictment also charges Thompson with two counts of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of oxycodone, and DeJesus with one count of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of heroin and cocaine, and one count of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of heroin. Each of these charges carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.
Cintron, Thompson, Williams, Arabolos, Giglietti, Levix and Palmieri were arrested on federal criminal complaints on September 10, 2015, and DeJesus was arrested on a federal criminal complaint on September 11, 2015. Mateo currently is in state custody.
The indictment also seeks the forfeiture of $10,207.39 that was seized from Palmieri’s residence on September 10, 2015, and five vehicles owned by several of the defendants.
U.S. Attorney Daly stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The DEA Tactical Diversion Squad includes members from the Greenwich, Shelton, Hamden, Vernon, West Hartford, Bristol and Willimantic Police Departments.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Amy C. Brown and Robert M. Spector.