By Tiffany Williams –
On Tuesday, April 4, 2023 a grand jury at the United States District Court in New Haven, Connecticut returned an indictment charging 14 individuals with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, controlled substances.
The FBI’s New Haven Safe Streets/Gang Task Force and the DEA New Haven’s Tactical Diversion Squad investigated a large-scale drug trafficking operation allegedly manufacturing and distributing counterfeit oxycodone tablets containing fentanyl and counterfeit Adderall tablets containing methamphetamine, and the distribution of heroin and cocaine, in the New Haven area.
During their investigation law enforcement determined that Willis Taylor, 66, of West Haven with the assistance of Paul Paolella, 52, of East Haven, Gordon Lauria, 52, of New Haven, and others, coordinated the manufacture of counterfeit pills, which Taylor distributed to Sean Pepe, 38, of East Haven, and Taylor’s son, Peter Ablondi Taylor, 20, of North Branford, for further distribution.
Pepe supplied pills to Christopher Cahill, 55, of Florida and others. Willis Taylor also arranged counterfeit pill transactions between second and third parties, including Mark Apotrias, 54, of North Branford, Thomas Joslin, 63, of East Haven, and David King, 58, of East Haven, and used Aquarius Gumbs, a.k.a. “Q,” “Ice,” and “Diamond,” 48, of New Haven as a source of supply for some of these transactions.
Gumbs also distributed controlled substances to his own customers, including Richard Greatsinger, 26, of West Haven. Marcos Pappas, a.k.a. “Speedy,” 49, of New Haven, Lisa Fausel, 59, of Milford and Julio Echevarria, a.k.a. “Warrior, 42, of New Haven, also conspired to distribute controlled substances.
Investigators seized more than two kilograms of fentanyl, including thousands of counterfeit Oxycodone tablets; approximately two kilograms of methamphetamine, including thousands of counterfeit Adderall pills; three kilograms of cocaine and other drugs; four pill-press machines; one industrial mixer; five firearms; and more than $200,000 in cash.
Thirteen of the defendants were arrested on federal criminal complaints. Pepe is currently in state custody.
In addition, the indictment charges Willis Taylor, Gumbs, Pepe, Paolella, and Greatsinger with one or more counts related to the possession and distribution of controlled substances.
The indictment also charges both Gumbs and Pepe with unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, and with possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.