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New London man caught in drug arrest sweep is sentenced to federal prison

Izaskun E. Larraneta

Publication: theday.com

Published April 03. 2014 12:00PM   Updated April 03. 2014 11:44PM

A New London man was sentenced Wednesday in New Haven federal court to 77 months in prison for distributing heroin.

Eddie "Joel" Rodriguez, 30, was arrested in April 2013 in a major drug raid that netted more than 100 arrests.

In early 2012, Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Secret Service and the New London Police Department initiated an investigation to combat the large-scale trafficking of heroin and cocaine from the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico into and around southeastern Connecticut.

The investigation revealed that Luis Ariel Capellan Maldonado, also known as "Ariel," and his associates were receiving heroin from sources in the Dominican Republic and distributing it throughout New London County. Rodriguez purchased heroin from Maldonado's associate and sold the drug to his own customers, the indictment said.

Rodriguez has been detained since his arrest on April 3, 2013. On Jan. 2, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin. Once he completes his period of incarceration, he will be placed on four years of supervised release.

Rodriguez has several prior felony convictions.

More than 100 individuals have been charged with federal and state offenses as a result of this investigation. Maldonado has pleaded guilty and awaits sentencing.

The federal case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alina P. Reynolds, Sarah P. Karwan and Henry K. Kopel. The state cases are being prosecuted by the State's Attorney for the New London Judicial District and Senior Assistant State's Attorneys Paul Narducci and Stephen Carney.

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