California Man Pleads Guilty to Fentanyl Trafficking Offenses
John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that OMAR VILLARREAL, 27, of La Puente, California, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Alvin W. Thompson in Hartford to fentanyl trafficking offenses.
According to court documents and statements made in court, on December 21, 2016, law enforcement officers stopped a tractor trailer on Route 34 in Derby. A search of the cab of the tractor trailer revealed a box that contained 25 kilograms of fentanyl. The driver of the vehicle, Erick Crespo-Escalante, was placed under arrest. The investigation revealed that Crespo-Escalante was delivering the shipment of fentanyl to a location in Waterbury.
In pleading guilty, VILLARREAL admitted that, in October 2016, he traveled from California to Connecticut for the purpose of overseeing the shipment of the narcotics to Connecticut, took up residence in Waterbury for approximately two months for the purpose of coordinating the delivery, and established a “stash” location in Waterbury to which the shipment could be delivered. After returning to California, VILLARREAL engaged in multiple phone calls with Crespo-Escalante to arrange the delivery via tractor trailer to Connecticut.
VILLARREAL pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and abetting the possession of fentanyl with intent to distribute, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years, and one count of traveling in interstate commerce to promote an unlawful activity, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years.
Judge Thompson scheduled sentencing for November 28, 2018.
VILLARREAL has been detained since his arrest on May 15, 2017.
On April 4, 2017, Crespo-Escalante pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, fentanyl. He awaits sentencing.
This matter is being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Haven Task Force and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Dave Vatti.
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