Five men were charged with narcotics offenses in connection with their alleged involvement in a Hartford area heroin trafficking conspiracy, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
A federal grand jury sitting in New Haven returned a 12-count indictment on March 25. The indictment alleges that from approximately November 2013 through March 2014, the following individuals conspired to distribute various quantities of heroin:
- Charles Jackson, 44, also known as “Doo Doo,” of Manchester
- Francisco Bigio, 34, also known as “Flaco,” of East Hartford
- Carlos Cardona, 29, also known as “Los,” of Hartford
- Christopher Cardona, 27, also known as ‘Tito,” of Hartford
- Antonio Baez, 39, also known as “Pete,” of Hartford
The five defendants were arrested earlier this month on criminal complaints and are currently detained. If convicted, Jackson faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 40 years. Bigio and Jackson are both serving terms of federal supervised release and face enhanced penalties if convicted of the charges contained in the indictment.
The joint investigation focused on the distribution of heroin believed to have been laced with Fentanyl and may have contributed to several recent heroin overdoses in the Hartford area, according to court documents filed as part of the case.
U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly noted that the investigation is ongoing and investigators are in the process of determining if the heroin involved in this conspiracy contained Fentanyl, and if a connection to the reported overdoses exists.
Fentanyl is a powerful opioid analgesic used to treat moderate to severe chronic pain that cannot be controlled with other medicines, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. It is approximately 100 times more potent than morphine.
In addition to being charged with conspiracy, Bigio is charged with multiple counts of possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, cocaine. It is alleged that Bigio was found in possession of two kilograms of cocaine at the time of his arrest.
Carlos Cardona, Christopher Cardona and Baez are also charged with multiple counts of possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, heroin.
If convicted of the charge of conspiring to distribute heroin, Bigio faces a maximum term of imprisonment of life.
Carlos Cardona and Christopher Cardona face a maximum term of imprisonment of 40 years, and Baez faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.
U.S. Attorney Daly stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Hartford Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brian Leaming and Patrick Caruso.The above information was provided by a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice and Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut; Patricia M. Ferrick, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; John J. Arvanitis, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration in New England; and Hartford Police Chief James C. Rovella.