Jury Finds Waterbury Man Guilty of Narcotics Distribution and Firearm Possession Offenses
WATERBURY, Conn. - Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that a federal jury in New Haven has found RAMON OQUENDO, also known as “Mimo,” 46, of Waterbury, guilty of narcotics trafficking and firearm possession offenses.
The trial before U.S. District Judge Janet C. Hall began on February 24 and the jury returned the guilty verdicts yesterday afternoon.
According to the evidence disclosed during the trial, this matter stems from an investigation led by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Bridgeport High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force of a drug trafficking network led by Landdy Rodriguez of Waterbury. In August 2021, investigators intercepted phone calls during which Rodriguez arranged for Oquendo to supply fentanyl to other drug distributors, including Sylvester Vann, also known as “Bug,” of Waterbury, and Pedro Diaz of Red Lion, Pennsylvania. Between August and October 2021, investigators conducted physical surveillance and observed Oquendo engaging in multiple drug transactions with Vann and Diaz. After one transaction, in August 2021, a Pennsylvania State Trooper stopped Diaz’s car in Pennsylvania and seized 48 grams of fentanyl.
Oquendo was arrested on October 26, 2021. On that date, a court authorized search of Oquendo’s residence revealed approximately 100 grams of fentanyl, 64 grams of crack cocaine, 102 grams of methamphetamine, a large quantity of marijuana, a polymer 80 privately made firearm (“ghost gun”), ammunition, narcotics processing and packaging materials, and nearly $50,000 in cash.
Oquendo’s criminal history includes convictions for felony drug and firearm offenses. It is a violation of federal law for a person previously convicted of a felony offense to possess a firearm or ammunition that has moved in interstate or foreign commerce.
The jury found Oquendo guilty of conspiracy to distribute, and to possess with intent to distribute, 40 grams or more of fentanyl; possession with intent to distribute 40 grams of fentanyl; possession with intent to distribute cocaine base (“crack”) and fentanyl; possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; and unlawful possession of ammunition by a felon. At sentencing, which is scheduled for May 25, Oquendo faces at least 10 years of imprisonment.
Oquendo has been detained since his arrest.
Rodriguez, Vann and Diaz have pleaded guilty and await sentencing.
This investigation has been conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Bridgeport High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force, with the assistance of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Connecticut State Police and the Waterbury Police Department. The Task Force includes personnel from the DEA Bridgeport Resident Office, the Connecticut State Police, and the Bridgeport, Danbury, Milford, Norwalk, Stamford and Stratford Police Departments.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kenneth L. Gresham, John T. Pierpont, Jr., and Brendan J. Keefe through the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Program. OCDETF identifies, disrupts and dismantles drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs and transnational criminal organizations through a prosecutor-led and intelligence-driven approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.