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Manchester Man Sentenced to Prison for Distributing Fentanyl Pills

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FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Department of Justice Building is pictured

Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that MATTHEW GASTRINGER, 35, of Manchester, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea in Hartford to 28 months of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release, for distributing fentanyl pills.

According to court documents and statements made in court, in 2020, the FBI’s Northern Connecticut Gang Task Force began investigating the drug trafficking activities of Phillip Garcia, also known as “Flip,” who was distributing cocaine, as well as fentanyl disguised as oxycodone pills, in the Hartford area through a network of associates.  In July 2020, investigators made two controlled purchases of fentanyl pills from Garcia and Gastringer.  The investigation further revealed that Garcia supplied Gastringer with fentanyl pills that he sold at profit to customers, and also consumed himself. 

Gastringer was arrested on May 12, 2021.  On April 28, 2022, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and distribution of, fentanyl.  He has been detained since December 3, 2021, when his bond was revoked.

Garcia pleaded guilty to narcotics distribution and firearm possession offenses and awaits sentencing.


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The FBI’s Northern Connecticut Gang Task Force includes members of the Hartford Police Department, East Hartford Police Department, New Britain Police Department, West Hartford Police Department, Connecticut State Police and Connecticut Department of Correction.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Konstantin Lantsman and Brian Leaming, through the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Program.  OCDETF identifies, disrupts and dismantles drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs and transnational criminal organizations through a prosecutor-led and intelligence-driven approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.  Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.