Dominican National Sentenced In Bridgeport, Connecticut To 120 Months For Narcotics Distribution

By Livia Gomes –

On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport, Connecticut sentenced Neftali Fernandez 42, a citizen of the Dominican Republic last residing in the Bronx, New York to 120 months of imprisonment. 

Fernandez, in February 2020 pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin and five kilograms or more of cocaine, one count of possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon.

Fernandez was arrested on April 25, 2018 as part of an ongoing investigation headed by the DEA New Haven Task Force, FBI and New Haven Police Department. This investigation included the use of court-authorized wiretaps, controlled purchases of heroin and cocaine, and seizures of bulk heroin and cocaine.  

The investigation revealed that Duane Filyaw, of New Haven, operated a heroin and cocaine trafficking ring in which he conspired with others to purchase narcotics from suppliers and then distribute the drugs to other suppliers of street-level dealers in and around New Haven.  

Fernandez worked with his associate, Gabriel Romero Escalera-Romero, to supply Filyaw and others with bulk quantities of cocaine.

During the investigation, law enforcement officers seized more than 500 grams of heroin, more than 300 grams of fentanyl, more than one kilogram of cocaine, three firearms, over $90,000 in cash, vehicles, jewelry and precious metals.

On April 19, 2018, a grand jury in New Haven returned an indictment charging Fernandez, Escalera-Romero, Filyaw and 16 other individuals with narcotics trafficking offenses.

Filyaw and Escalera-Romero have pleaded guilty.  On May 26, 2020, he was sentenced to 60 months of imprisonment.  Filyaw awaits sentencing.

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