11 CT residents charged with drug trafficking

Eleven Connecticut residents have been charged with three counts of drug trafficking.

The identities of the accused persons were established by the Attorney General of the US state of Connecticut.

They include: Rodney Canada, aka “Supreme,” 47, of Stamford; Terrell Wills, aka “Black Fred,” 50, of Darien; Ramion Baker, aka “Ray Ray,” 43, of Stamford; Willi Bazelais, 30, of Stamford; Christopher Adams, 57, of Norwalk; Gerald Coley, aka “G Rock,” 54, of Bridgeport; Benjamin Dozier, aka “Ace” and “Blanco,” 42, of Bridgeport; Danny Turkvan, aka “Smooth,” 53, of Stamford; Gavin Hammett, aka “G” and “Silk,” 59, of Bridgeport; Jimmy Arce, aka “Boe,” “Slim” and “Jimbo,” 40, of Bridgeport; and Omar Parra, aka “D” and “Dee,” 37, of Stamford, officials said.

According to federal officials, Canada was identified as the suspected leader of a drug trafficking organization that reportedly distributed large quantities of fentanyl, heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine in Stamford and other locations in the southwestern part of the state as part of an investigation by the DEA's Bridgeport High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force and Stamford police.

The investigation included court-authorized wiretaps and controlled drug buys and revealed that Wills and Baker allegedly helped Canada coordinate street drug distribution through Coley, Dozier, Turkvan and others, authorities said. Canada also allegedly sold large quantities of cocaine to Bazelais and Adams for further distribution, officials said.

Hammett is believed to have served as a source of supplies for the drug trafficking organization, and Arce was, according to authorities, a Canadian criminal accomplice who supplied Parra with fentanyl, cocaine and crack.

Of the 11 defendants, 10 people were arrested on May 14 on federal criminal charges, and others were arrested on state charges, officials said.

Parra was the only one not arrested that day. He has been in federal custody since March 19, when he was arrested on a complaint.

According to federal authorities, investigators searched locations in Stamford, Norwalk, Bridgeport and Darien on May 14 and allegedly seized approximately three kilograms of cocaine, nearly 400 grams of raw fentanyl, more than 500 bags of fentanyl, five firearms, a bulletproof vest and seven vehicles.

Last Wednesday, a grand jury in federal court in New Haven filed three separate indictments against the 11 people.

“We are committed to using federal law enforcement resources to stem the flow of deadly narcotics in southwestern Connecticut and across the state,” U.S. Attorney Vanessa Roberts Avery said in a statement. “Because firearms are typically associated with the illegal drug trade, this is a heightened concern. We increase our efforts when individuals who have already been in contact with the federal justice system choose to continue their criminal activities when they return to society. I thank the DEA Task Force, Stamford Police Department, and all agencies that assisted in this investigation. Their work makes Connecticut safer.”

An indictment charges Canada, Wills, Baker, Bazelais, Adams, Coley, Dozier and Turkvan with conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, cocaine and heroin, officials said. That charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

The indictment also charges Adams and Baker with possession of cocaine with intent to resell, which also carries a prison sentence of up to 20 years, and Baker and Dozier with unlawful possession of a firearm as a felon, which carries a prison sentence of up to 15 years.

Baker is also charged with possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense, which carries a mandatory consecutive sentence of at least five years, officials said. Authorities said Baker's criminal past includes a federal conviction for trafficking crack cocaine.

The second charge charges Hammett with possession of 500 grams or more of cocaine and a quantity of fentanyl with the intent to resell. This charge carries a minimum of five years and a maximum of 40 years in prison. The second charge also charges him with unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.

Officials said Hammett's criminal history includes convictions in federal courts in the District of South Carolina and the District of Connecticut for cocaine trafficking. He is currently on federal probation for the prior conviction in the District of Connecticut.

The third indictment charges Arce and Parra with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl, 500 grams or more of cocaine, and a certain amount of heroin – which carries a minimum sentence of five years and a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison. In addition, Arce is charged with possession with intent to distribute fentanyl and Parra is charged with possession with intent to distribute fentanyl and cocaine, unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.

“The illegal drug trade is destroying the foundations of our families and communities here in Connecticut,” said Stephen P. Belleau, DEA assistant special agent in charge, in a statement. “These arrests and seizures should serve as an example to those who distribute poisons like fentanyl, heroin, crack cocaine and cocaine, and that the DEA will aggressively pursue you and hold you accountable. This investigation demonstrates the strength and continued commitment of our local, state and federal law enforcement partners here in Connecticut and our solid relationship with the U.S. Attorney's Office.”

All 11 people are arrested.

“This large-scale case is an example of the collaboration of many federal and local partners that resulted in the arrest of numerous suspects who were delivering large quantities of illegal drugs to southwestern Connecticut,” Stamford Deputy Police Chief Richard Conklin said in a statement. “Many of the suspects have extensive backgrounds and long histories related to drug offenses, and several illegal firearms were seized. Large-scale investigations in a team format like this will certainly make Connecticut a safer place for everyone.”

Anna Harden

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