Member of Willimantic Heroin Ring Sentenced to 33 Months in Federal Prison

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CONNECTICUT – John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that MIGUEL CEBALLO-CRUZ, 31, of Willimantic, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea to 33 months of imprisonment, followed by four years of supervised release, for trafficking heroin.

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Pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the sentencing occurred via videoconference.

According to court documents and statements made in court, in May 2018, the DEA’s Hartford Task Force and Willimantic Police Department, while investigating a heroin/fentanyl overdose death that occurred in August 2017, received information that Xavier Diaz, also known as “Coco,” was operating a heroin distribution ring in Willimantic. The investigation revealed that drug purchasers called a phone shared by Diaz and other members of the conspiracy to place an order for heroin. Thereafter, a “runner” would meet the purchaser to complete the transaction.

Ceballo-Cruz was a runner for the Diaz organization, and he delivered the drugs involved in the August 2017 overdose death. Several non-fatal overdoses have also been connected to drugs distributed by the Diaz organization.

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Ceballo-Cruz, Diaz and other members of the organization were arrested on October 15, 2018. On that date, a search of Diaz’s residence revealed more than 100 grams of heroin, a stolen firearm, and ammunition. In addition, a search of a storage unit connected to the organization revealed more than $20,000 in cash.

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On October 1, 2019, Ceballo-Cruz pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin. He has been detained since February 2020 after he violated conditions of his release and his bond was revoked

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Diaz pleaded guilty to the same charge and, on November 25, 2019, was sentenced to five years of imprisonment.

The DEA’s Hartford Task Force includes personnel from the DEA Hartford Resident Office and the Bristol, Hartford, East Hartford, Manchester, New Britain, Rocky Hill, Wethersfield, Windsor Locks and Willimantic Police Departments.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Natasha M. Freismuth.