U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
District of Connecticut
District of Connecticut
For Immediate Release
December 21, 2011
David B. Fein, United States Attorney
Contact: Tom Carsonm, Public Information Office
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Hartford Man Charged with Crack and Heroin Distribution, Illegal Gun Possession
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that a federal grand jury in Hartford returned an indictment today charging ARIEL SANCHEZ, 26, of Garden Street, Harford, with one count of possession with intent to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base (
crack cocaine), one count of possession with intent to distribute heroin, one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense, and one count of possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon.
The indictment alleges that on August 10, 2011, SANCHEZ possessed with the intent to distribute more than 28 grams of crack cocaine and a quantity of heroin. The Indictment further alleges that, on that same date, SANCHEZ possessed a 9mm pistol in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.
The indictment alleges that, prior to August 10, 2011, SANCHEZ had been convicted of multiple felony offenses in Connecticut, including sale of hallucinogens/narcotics, sale of controlled substances, possession of narcotics, and possession of drugs/marijuana.
It is a violation of federal law for a person previously convicted of a felony offense to possess a firearm or ammunition that has moved in interstate or foreign commerce.
If convicted, SANCHEZ faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years and a maximum term of 40 years on the crack cocaine charge, and a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years on the heroin charge. He also faces a mandatory minimum five-year consecutive sentence on the charge of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense. Additionally, SANCHEZ faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years on the felon in possession of a firearm charge.
SANCHEZ has been detained since his arrest on related state charges on August 10, 2011.
U.S. Attorney Fein stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case was investigated by the Hartford Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan S. Freimann.
The Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative is aimed at reducing gun and gang violence, deterring illegal possession of guns, and improving the safety of residents of Connecticut’s cities. Participants in the initiative include community members and organizations as well as federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.