WATERBURY, CT (WFSB) -- Following a 10-month investigation into drug trafficking in the Waterbury, police and federal agents have identified and charged 17 individuals.
The 17 people are being charged with federal offenses related to the distribution of heroin, cocaine, and crack cocaine in and around the Waterbury area.
The investigation, which was conducted by DEA New Haven Task Force and Waterbury Police Department, included the use of court-authorized wiretaps on multiple phones used by alleged members of the organization, physical surveillance, controlled purchases of narcotics, and motor vehicle stops that resulted in the seizure of drugs.
On March 1, the following individuals were charged with conspiracy to distribute, and to possess with intent to distribute, heroin, cocaine and cocaine base “crack”:
- Zachary Lee Foster, a.k.a. “Lee,” 54, Waterbury
- Jason Metz, a.k.a. “Jay,” 51, Naugatuck
- James Grant, a.k.a. “Bobo,” “Bo,” and “Jimbo,” 56, Waterbury
- Derek Metz, 31, Waterbury
- Jesus Nieves, a.k.a. “Pop,” 37, Waterbury
- Algeny Paulino, a.k.a. “Chico” and “Lying Queen,” 32, Bronx, New York
- Eddie Smalls, a.k.a. “Pooch,” 47, Waterbury
- Sherman Peters, a.k.a. “Red,” 36, Waterbury
- Latasha Slaughter, a.k.a. “Tasha,” 42, Waterbury
- Lawrence Jackson, 24, Waterbury
- Adam Mines, a.k.a. “White Boy,” 37, Waterbury
- Hector Diaz, 23, Waterbury
- Lechard Santos, 31, Waterbury
- Keon Council, 43, Waterbury
- Rondell Maurice Wright, a.k.a. “Reese,” 52, Waterbury
- Isaac Wilson, a.k.a. “Ike,” 24, Waterbury
- Chascity Perez, 25, Waterbury
Officials said 15 of the defendants were arrested on Wednesday, but Peters is still wanted by police. Grant has been in state custody since January.
Additionally, law enforcement officials executed seven search warrants and seized about 40,000 bags of suspected heroin, 350 grams of cocaine and 50 grams of crack cocaine. Police also seized nine firearms, including an AK-47-style rifle.
“We are very appreciative for the support from the U.S. Attorney’s Office and for our partnership with the DEA to attack drug trafficking in our community,” said Waterbury Police Chief Fernando Spagnolo. “This is the second long-term wiretap investigation the Waterbury Police Department has participated in over the last three years, and we expect to continue to work with federal authorities on these kinds of cases going forward.”
“More Connecticut residents lost their lives to overdoses in 2020 than in any year previously and the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners are committed to using the full force of federal law to investigate and prosecute those responsible for trafficking these deadly drugs,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Boyle. “I commend the DEA Task Force members and Waterbury Police for their excellent work during this investigation, and their success in apprehending every charged defendant and seizing a large quantity of narcotics. I also thank the Waterbury State’s Attorney’s office for its continued partnership in these efforts. All involved have made the community safer and saved lives.”