MANCHESTER, CT — A defendant in a federal Manchester narcotics case is facing a potential lifetime in prison, a leading prosecutor said.
John H. Durham, United States attorney for the District of Connecticut, Brian D. Boyle, special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England and Manchester Police Chief William Darby said that Luis Ciruo, 36, of East Hartford, waived his right to be indicted Friday and pleaded guilty today to one count of possession with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl.
Pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the court proceeding before U.S. District Judge Kari A. Dooley occurred via videoconference.
According to court documents and statements made in court, on Oct. 15, 2019, Manchester Police received a call reporting that a woman was yelling and displaying a gun outside of an apartment building on John Olds Drive in Manchester.
Law enforcement officials had previously received information that an individual was operating a fentanyl mill in an apartment within the same building. Durham said.
Responding officers conducted surveillance of the building and saw Ciuro exit the building and place a black bag into the trunk of a car, case records show.
After Ciuro and another individual entered the car and it drove away, officers conducted a traffic stop, at which time an officer opened the trunk of car and retrieved the bag that Ciuro had carried from the building, according to case records.
The bag contained one shoebox that contained approximately $70,000 in cash and a second shoebox that contained two loaded handguns, both of which had been reported stolen, Durham said.
After Ciuro admitted to officers that he used an apartment on John Olds Drive to store and process narcotics, a search of the apartment uncovered approximately 687 grams of fentanyl, .69 grams of PCP, four grams of psilocybin mushrooms, and various drug-packaging materials, case records show.
Ciuro's criminal history includes a federal conviction for conspiring to distribute crack cocaine. Records show that, on Jan. 4, 2008, he was sentenced in New Haven federal court to 84 months of imprisonment for that offense.
Judge Dooley scheduled sentencing in the Manchester case for Feb. 12, at which time Ciuro faces a mandatory minimum prison term of 15 years and a maximum life term. The penalties in the case are "enhanced" based on Ciuro's criminal history, Durham said.
Ciuro is detained pending sentencing.