“Operation Samson” leads to first sentencing in drug robbery scheme

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH) — In Bridgeport today, a man was sentenced to 84 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release for his role in planning to conduct an armed robbery of a narcotics stash house.

Humberto Soto was arrested on April 11, 2014, and taken into custody through an initiative called “Operation Samson” headed by ATF, Bridgeport Police and New Haven Police, which targets violent criminals, illegal firearm possession, and firearm trafficking. That spring, approximately 40 ATF special agents and personnel from Connecticut and across the country were deployed with New Haven and Bridgeport Police to conduct numerous covert operations.

According to court documents and statements made in court, in March 2014, the ATF began an investigation into Carlos “Camby” Colon and Carlos “Joel” Colon, who were known narcotics and firearm traffickers in Bridgeport. Law enforcement also had received information that Joel Colon was interested in committing an armed robbery of a drug dealer. During the investigation, which employed the use of an ATF agent working in an undercover capacity, the Colons recruited Soto and others to commit an armed robbery of what they believed to be a narcotics stash house of 15 kilograms of cocaine. In recorded conversations, Soto agreed to secure a firearm for the robbery and stated that any occupants of the house who brandished a weapon would be shot. Soto also stated that all of the participants must be dressed in black, not have cellular telephones and wear gloves, and suggested that they should create fictitious tattoos in order to avoid identification.

On April 11, 2014, Soto, the Colons, Markus Mendez, Nelson Diaz, Trevor Pierce and Hiram “Gringo” Mojica gathered at a location in Stamford where they believed they would be informed of the address of the narcotics stash house, and would then travel to the stash house to conduct the robbery. All seven were arrested at that time. A search of the center console of the vehicle that Soto and Mendez drove to the meet location revealed a loaded and cocked Ruger 9mm pistol. A search of the car that Diaz, Pierce and Mojica drove to the location also revealed a loaded .40 caliber pistol.

Soto has been detained since his arrest. On March 2, 2015, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery and one count of use of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.

Camby Colon, Joel Colon, Mendez, Diaz, Pierce and Mojica have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.

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