A 30-year-old New Jersey native has been handed 170-months prison sentence, for his role in a heroin trafficking network across Fairfield County. David Monserrat Torres, on September 20 was given the sentence, coupled with five years’ of additional supervised release, by U.S. District Judge Victor A. Bolden. The culprit is alleged to be the head of a heroin trafficking network, involving two brothers.
Torres’s arrest came on May 31, 2016, after he admitted to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin. In addition to that, Torres again pleaded guilty to partaking in the distribution of over 30 kilograms of heroin and was later released on bond, awaiting his sentence. After his guilty pleas, law enforcement uncovered that he had bought a synthetic opioid commonly known as “Pink,” on the dark web. Torres was again arrested on March 7, 2017, in New York by the DEA. A search was conducted on his vehicle of which officers found precisely 60 grams of U-47700, 100 grams of heroin, and a cash amount of $8,600. The culprit had been in custody since his latest arrest last March.
Court documents revealed that Torres’ arrest was as a result of a probe, carried out by Stamford Police Department, Drug Trafficking Area Task Force, Connecticut state police, and the Norwalk Police, with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Bridgeport High-Intensity Department, leading it.
The DEA was chasing a lead on Wilfredo Gutierrez, known by his aliases “Big Pun” and “Bean” and his brother Bobby Gutierrez, also called “B.O.,” for running a dark web drug trafficking enterprise. After a series of court-ordered wiretaps, physical surveillance and monitored buying of narcotics, the investigation then revealed that the Gutierrez brothers and other associates colluded to distribute at least 10 kilograms of heroin in the state of Connecticut during a seven month period. The Department of Justice also uncovered that Torres served as the leading supplier of heroin for the Gutierrez organization for many years.
Wilfredo Gutierrez was handed a 15-year prison sentence on March 16, 2017 while on April 24, 2017, his brother was sentenced to 14 years in prison and was ordered to surrender a cash amount of $171,462 in addition to the sentence. The investigation led to a total of nine people getting charged, with all of them pleading guilty to their crimes. Torres is the last person amongst them to be sentenced.
Torres again admitted to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute over 100 grams of heroin, on April 13 this year, in New York, of which sentencing for that case is still pending.
Torres was 25, when he was arrested for the first time, after a traffic stop on state route 17, together with two other accomplices, 27-year-old Chaz Walker, and Robert Ojeda, 21. The police found over 15 grams of heroin with a street value of $7,500 and also a large amount of marijuana in their car. The trio was sent to the Orange County jail where they were held without bail. They were later charged with felony counts of heroin and violation counts on the marijuana.
The state of New Jersey has also had another heroin case on their hands this month after law enforcement arrested 31 people and seized at least 430 doses of heroin together with money and weapons in three different busts. Two of the arrested individuals were trafficking 20 kilograms of heroin, hidden in onion boxes but were discovered during a random traffic stop.
This bust resulted from an investigation dubbed “Operation Forefathers,” which was initiated by the Cape May and Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Offices and the DEA. It focused on the trafficking of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, marijuana, and prescription pills in the Woodbine and Millville areas. An amount of $30,000, two semiautomatic handguns and a shotgun were all confiscated as part of the investigation.