Former Waterbury Resident Sentenced to 5 Years in Federal Prison for Trafficking Fentanyl and Heroin

Leonard C Boyle, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that WILTON REYNOSO, also known as Manuel Jose Echevarria-Lugo, 47, a citizen of the Dominican Republic last residing in Waterbury, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton in New Haven to 60 months of imprisonment for trafficking fentanyl and heroin.

According to court documents and statements made in court, in late 2019, the DEA New Haven Task Force began an investigation into the distribution of heroin and fentanyl in New Haven and Waterbury.  The investigation, which included thousands of intercepted communications over court-authorized wiretaps, revealed that Reynoso was receiving large quantities of fentanyl and heroin from a source in New York and then selling the narcotics to other drug distributors.

On June 13, 2020, investigators sought to arrest Reynoso and Tyson Quinones, of Waterbury, after intercepting a series of calls indicating that Reynoso and Quinones were planning to conduct a 200-gram heroin transaction.  On that date, Quinones was arrested at the anticipated meeting place.  Reynoso fled from the meeting scene in his vehicle, which was found abandoned nearby.  He was arrested a short time later after he returned to the vehicle.  A search of a location in Waterbury that Reynoso used to store narcotics revealed more than kilogram of a mixture of fentanyl and heroin, and items used to process and package narcotics.

Reynoso has been detained since his arrest.  On June 19, 2021, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute, and to possess with intent to distribute, 400 grams or more of fentanyl.

Reynoso faces immigration proceedings when he completes his prison term.

Quinones pleaded guilty on July 23, 2021, and awaits sentencing.

This investigation has been conducted by the DEA New Haven Task Force with the assistance of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.  The Task Force includes participants from the U.S. Marshals Service, Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division, and the New Haven, Hamden, West Haven, North Haven, Branford, Ansonia, Meriden, Derby, Middletown, Naugatuck and Waterbury Police Departments.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys John T. Pierpont, Jr. and Elena L. Coronado through the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Program.  OCDETF identifies, disrupts and dismantles drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs and transnational criminal organizations through a prosecutor-led and intelligence-driven approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.  Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.

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