John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that JUAN HERNANDEZ, 37, of New London, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant in Hartford to 48 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for distributing cocaine, and for violating the conditions of his federal supervised release that followed a previous conviction for trafficking cocaine.
This matter stems from an investigation led by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Connecticut Statewide Narcotics Taskforce East, Connecticut Department of Correction and the New London, Waterford, City of Groton and Stonington Police Departments, into the distribution of narcotics and illegal possession of firearms in southeastern Connecticut. The investigation included court-authorized wiretaps and controlled purchases and seizures of heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine, and firearms. The investigation revealed that Hernandez received cocaine from an identified leader of a drug trafficking organization and distributed the drug to his own customers and other street-level dealers.
On January 17, 2019, New London Police arrested Hernandez after they conducted a traffic stop of Hernandez’s vehicle and found him in possession of approximately 100 grams of cocaine.
At the time of his arrest, and during his criminal conduct in this case, Hernandez was on federal supervised release. On February 26, 2016, Judge Bryant sentenced Hernandez to 48 months of imprisonment and four years of supervised release for his participation in another southeastern Connecticut cocaine trafficking conspiracy.
On March 5, 2019, a grand jury in Hartford returned an indictment charging Hernandez and 23 other individuals with various offenses. On December 9, 2019, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possession with the intent to distribute cocaine.
Judge Bryant sentenced Hernandez to 30 months of imprisonment for the cocaine distribution offense, and an additional 18 months of imprisonment for violating the conditions of his supervised release.
Hernandez has been detained since January 17, 2019.
This investigation is being conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. Marshals Service, Homeland Security Investigations, Connecticut Statewide Narcotics Taskforce East, Connecticut Department of Correction and the New London, Waterford, City of Groton, Stonington, Norwich, Old Saybrook and UConn Police Departments. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Natasha M. Freismuth.