DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Middle District of Florida

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, December 7, 2022
Roger B. Handberg
, United States Attorney

Members of Drug Trafficking Conspiracy Plead Guilty to Drug and Gun Charges in Operation “Titan Fall”

Orlando, Florida – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces that Carlos Alberto Roman (56, Orlando) has pleaded guilty to possession of controlled substances and possessing a firearm equipped with a silencer in furtherance of that drug crime. Roman faces a minimum mandatory sentence of 30 years, up to life, in federal prison. Coconspirators James Richard Howell (37, Silver Springs) and Kenneth Angel Vera (31, Orlando) pleaded guilty on December 5 and December 6, 2022, respectively, to their roles in the drug conspiracy with Roman. A final coconspirator, Joely Manuel Burgos (39, Orlando), is scheduled for trial on January 17, 2023.

On August 9, 2022, 13 individuals were charged in two indictments in Operation “Titan Fall,” a multi-agency Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCEDTF) investigation. Roman was charged with conspiracy to distribute fentanyl and cocaine in a four-person indictment along with Howell, Burgos, and Vera. On August 31, 2022, a superseding indictment charged Roman with six additional counts of drug possession, possession of a firearm equipped with a silencer in furtherance of drug trafficking, unlawful possession of firearms, ammunition, and explosive grenades by a convicted felon, and unlawful possession of a short-barreled rifle, pistols with vertical foregrips, and silencers.

According to the plea agreement, Roman supplied cocaine and fentanyl to Howell, Burgos, and Vera for resale and regularly communicated with each of them. On August 9, 2022, Roman was arrested at his home with 19 firearms, 6 silencers, 3 flash-bang grenades, and thousands of rounds of ammunition. All but three of the firearms depicted below were recovered from Roman’s home:

An exhibit photograph showing numerous firearms on a table

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration with assistance from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the U.S. Secret Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Florida Highway Patrol, the Winter Garden Police Department, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, the Kissimmee Police Department, the Winter Park Police Department, the Clermont Police Department, the Orlando Police Department, the Apopka Police Department, the Ocoee Police Department, the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, and the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Dana E. Hill.

Operation Titan Fall is a multi-agency Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCEDTF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at www.justice.gov/OCDETF.

Tampa Field Division