Connecticut Man Sentenced to 70 Months’ Imprisonment for Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin, Fentanyl, Cocaine, and Cocaine Base from Rutland Apartment

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that Ralph Mariani (a.k.a. “D”), 28, of West Hartford, Connecticut was sentenced on July 20, 2022 in United States District Court in Rutland, Vermont by Chief Judge Geoffrey W. Crawford to 70 months of imprisonment.  Mariani had previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, and cocaine base in the Rutland, Vermont area.  Judge Crawford also ordered that Mariani serve three years of supervised release by the U.S. Probation Office after he serves his term of imprisonment.  

Mariani’s three codefendants, Cedano Brownswell of Hartford, Connecticut, Rashane Wedderburn of Hartford, Connecticut, and Jasmine Wendell of West Rutland, Vermont, have all pleaded guilty to drug trafficking offenses and are awaiting sentencing.  

According to court records and proceedings, on November 18, 2020, law enforcement executed a federal search warrant for an apartment on Traverse Place in Rutland, Vermont.  Mariani, Wedderburn, Brownswell, and Wendell were all present at the time of this search.  Law enforcement seized approximately 72 grams of powder cocaine, 45 grams of cocaine base, 69 bags of fentanyl, and 52 Oxycodone pills.  The search also resulted in the seizure of four firearms, including a loaded 9mm pistol located on the living room couch.  Law enforcement also seized a total of over six thousand dollars in cash from Mariani, Cedano, and Wedderburn. The government argued that a long sentence was justified because Mariani’s offense involved drug trafficking for profit, possession of firearms, violence, and threats of violence, including his assault of a female drug addict to coerce her into dealing drugs for him in the Rutland area. 

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United States Attorney Nikolas P. Kerest commended the joint efforts in this investigation by the Vermont State Police (Narcotics Investigation Unit), the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Rutland City Police, and Homeland Security Investigations. This case is prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Perella.  Mariani is represented by Gerald Klein, Esq. of Hartford, Connecticut.

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