Photo: Contributed Photo / Bjoern Wylezich – TNS
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HARTFORD — A city drug trafficker, who authorities say used his family’s business as a front to sell drugs, will serve more than 10 years in federal prison after an investigation into fentanyl sales in and around Hartford.
A judge sentenced 28-year-old Danny Castillo to 128 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, according to federal authorities.
Castillo’s charges stemmed from an investigation that started back in August 2018.
The FBI’s Northern Connecticut Gang Task Force and Hartford police got information that Castillo and an associate — identified by authorities as Pascual Ivan Medina — were distributing large amounts of fentanyl in and around Hartford.
Authorities said Castillo used his family business, the Albany Grocery Store at 1160 Albany Ave. in Hartford, to do drug sales.
From October 2018 through January 2019, investigators made multiple controlled purchases of fentanyl from Castillo, sometimes with Medina’s help, authorities said. These buys were done at the Albany Grocery Store and Castillo’s Woodland Street apartment.
On Jan. 25, 2019, investigators saw Alexis Velez drive up to Castillo’s apartment, go into Castillo’s apartment briefly, then leave in his car.
Authorities said Hartford police pulled Velez over and found him in possession of cocaine and crack cocaine. In a bag, police found 102 grams of a mixture of fentanyl and heroin, 46 grams of cocaine, 15 grams of crack, two ounces of marijuana and $4,060 in cash.
Law enforcement arrested Castillo shortly after at his apartment.
When investigators searched Castillo’s apartment, they found “436 grams of fentanyl, 229 grams of heroin, 231 grams of a mixture of fentanyl and heroin, 543 grams of a mixture of tramadol and methamphetamine, numerous items used to process and package narcotics for distribution, a loaded short-barrel shotgun and a loaded revolver,” authorities said.
A third gun was found later at Castillo’s home. He has been detained since his arrest.
On Feb. 11, Castillo pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl and possession of an unregistered short-barrel shotgun.
Medina and Velez pleaded guilty to related charges. Medina was sentenced in January to 30 months in prison. Velez awaits sentencing.
U.S. Attorney for Connecticut John Durham said in a statement the quantity of fentanyl and heroin seized during this investigation would have produced “at least 35,000 dose bags of the drugs.
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