New York man sentenced for role in Bridgeport drug operation: Feds

BRIDGEPORT, CT – A 22-year-old Bronx man was sentenced this week to a year and a day in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for his role in a drug dealing operation in Bridgeport, United reported. State’s Attorney Vanessa Roberts Avery.

Juan Martinez Jr. was sentenced Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Carrie A. International in Bridgeport. In April, Martinez pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact to drug possession with intent to distribute.

According to court documents and statements, in September 2020, law enforcement installed a GPS tracking device on a Volvo XC90 owned by Martinez’s cousin, Joseph Matos, which investigators learned contained a “decoy” used to hide and transport drugs. Matos lived both in Bridgeport and in a residence on Martha Place in the Bronx, New York.

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Investigators tracked the Volvo for several months as it traveled between southern Connecticut and New York, on the US West Coast, and to Tijuana, Mexico, according to prosecutors.

In March 2021, the Volvo was returned to Connecticut via a car carrier from California, and investigators watched Matos as he traveled from his residence in the Bronx to a location in Trumbull to pick up the vehicle. Authorities stopped the vehicle and arrested Matos after a search revealed approximately two kilograms of cocaine hidden in the trap.

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Martinez, who assisted in the Matos drug operation, was arrested the same day at a Martha’s Place residence. An inspection of the house revealed:

  • More than 500 grams of cocaine were seized
  • – About 50 pounds of marijuana
  • Drug packaging materials
  • More than $143,000 in cash
  • 8 firearms
  • Silencers
  • High capacity magazines
  • Ammunition

At the time of his arrest, Martinez was packaging contraband for removal after learning that police had stopped Matos in Connecticut, according to prosecutors.

Matos pleaded guilty and, in July, was sentenced to 48 months in prison.

This investigation was conducted by the DEA Bridgeport High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force, which includes personnel from the DEA Bridgeport office, Connecticut State Police, Bridgeport, Danbury, Milford, Norwalk, Stamford, and Stratford. Police departments. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen L. Beck.

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