Waterford man sentenced for trafficking cocaine

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) –A man from Waterford was sentenced on Wednesday in Hartford to over seven years in prison for his role in a cocaine trafficking operation dating back to the beginning of an investigation in 2012.

According to Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, Luis Zayas, also known as Guichan, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant to 85 months of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release.

Court documents and statements made in court reveal that in early 2012, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), 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 certain members of the conspiracy coordinated the shipment of heroin, and sometimes cocaine, via human couriers from the Dominican Republic to the United States.  Other members of the conspiracy obtained kilogram-quantities of cocaine in Puerto Rico and then mailed the drug to locations in and around New London where it was sold to distributors and customers.  Narcotics were also obtained from sources in New York City and Rhode Island.

Zayas and Pedro Rivera, also known as Cheito, arranged the shipment of cocaine from sources in Puerto Rico to the New London area. Zayas and Rivera then distributed the cocaine to customers in southeastern Connecticut through a network of associates.

More than 100 individuals were charged with federal and state offenses as a result of this investigation.

Zayas was arrested on April 3, 2013.  On Jan. 29, 2015, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine.

Rivera also plead guilty and on Dec. 9, 2015, he was sentenced to 116 months of imprisonment.