This article first appeared on Meriden Patch.
A Meriden man is among 28 suspects arrested on federal charges in connection with the alleged trafficking of heroin, cocaine, crack and marijuana.
Gabriel Kelly, 23, of Horton Avenue, was arrested on a grand jury indictment charging him with conspiring to distribute marijuana, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years.
The charges against Kelly and the other suspects stem from two separate investigations of drug trafficking in the Fair Haven section of New Haven.
Over the past 48 hours, the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency’s New Haven and Hartford Task Forces, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, the Connecticut State Police, New Haven Police, New Britain Police and the U.S. Marshals Service have arrested 20 of the defendants charged in two indictments.
An additional defendant was arrested this morning and charged by criminal complaint. Six defendants had been arrested previously and are currently in state or federal custody. Two defendants are currently being sought.
The indictments and today’s arrests represent the culmination of two long-term joint investigations that were funded in significant part by the United States Attorney’s Office Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force and supported by the Office’s Project Safe Neighborhoods and Anti-Gang programs.
Law enforcement officers executed several search warrants in association with today’s arrests and seized at least five firearms, narcotics, cash and other items.
“I want to commend all of the law enforcement officers involved in these important investigations,” U.S. Attorney David B. Fein said. “Their coordinated efforts both today and over the past several months have disrupted what we allege to be two significant narcotics trafficking networks."
"These cases represent the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s long-standing, steadfast commitment to working with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute large-scale trafficking of narcotics, and when appropriate, to assisting local law enforcement in their efforts to rid neighborhoods of pervasive drug trafficking in order to improve the quality of life for the residents,” he said.
“Law Enforcement teamwork is to be credited for the success in this case, which has made a significant impact in the illegal narcotics trade in Connecticut and surrounding states,” said state police Col. Daniel Stebbins.