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New London heroin dealer sentenced to 68 months

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – A New London man was sentenced Tuesday to 68 months of imprisonment, followed by four years of supervised release, for distributing heroin following a large-scale investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the U.S. Secret Service and the New London Police Department.

Cruz Bonilla, 30, aka Jay, is one of more than 100 individuals that have been charged with federal and state offenses as a result of this investigation.

According to court documents and statements made in court, in early 2012, the three law enforcement agencies initiated an investigation to combat the large-scale trafficking of heroin and cocaine from the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico into and around southeastern Connecticut. On multiple occasions in the fall of 2012, Bonilla was intercepted over court-authorized wiretaps ordering heroin from members of the conspiracy. Bonilla then sold the drug to his own customers. In October 2012, while he was incarcerated for state parole violations, Bonilla arranged to have his then-girlfriend purchase and distribute heroin on his behalf.

"This joint investigation is a terrific example of how cooperation with our other federal, state, and local law enforcement partners resulted in successfully dismantling a large scale narcotics smuggling network that was a gateway into Connecticut," said Bruce Foucart, special agent in charge of HSI Boston. "HSI will continue to utilize its broad authorities to target those individuals that pose direct threats to our communities."

On Oct. 2, Bonilla pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin.

Bonilla has been incarcerated since October 2012, but his time served will not be credited toward his 68-month federal sentence.

The federal case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alina P. Reynolds, Sarah P. Karwan and Henry K. Kopel.