A drug task force recently announced that 9 persons have been arrested in “Operation Jackpot” for trafficking substantial amounts of fentanyl and other drugs in central Connecticut.

Fentanyl is an opioid (narcotic analgesic) that is not indicated for much use outside of general anesthesia. When improperly used, it is likely to result in overdose and death due to severe respiratory distress. It is as much as 50 times more potent than heroin, and sometimes, in comes laced into heroin, or substituted outright for the drug.

Last year, at least 482 people died from heroin and opioid overdoses in Connecticut.

The task force included agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency (Hartford), the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and New Britain and Wethersfield police departments.

Deirdre Daly, U.S. Attorney:

“We believe that this groundbreaking investigation has identified a major supplier of fentanyl in our state. This investigation has provided us with an important window into how fentanyl is winding up on our streets.”

The operation, which began in December, 2015, yielded 9 arrests, 2.5 kilos of fentanyl, 2 kilos of molly, 50,000 fake Xanax pills, 40 pounds of marijuana, steroids, and $500,000 in cash. This is thought to be largest seizure of fentanyl in Connecticut, and one of the largest in all of New England.

Among the charged:

John Casadei, 45, of Morrisons, Jared McBriarty, 31, of Bristol, and Kyle Peterson of New Britain have all been charged with (1) conspiracy to distribute and (2) conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl. Peterson is also charged with fentanyl possession.

If convicted, these persons face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years, and maximum of life in prison.

Charles Orcutt, 27, of Windsor, Carlos Enriquez, 27, of Enfield, Jesus Correa, 41, of New Britain, Issac Ortiz, 35, of Newington, Thomasz Ziobron, 30, of New Britain, and Dominique Greco, 29, of Cromwell are all charged with cnspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances.

All face a maximum sentence of 20 years.

Operation Jackpot

A tip received in December of last year indicated that Kyle Petersen was selling fentanyl, as well as prescription pills and marijuana. Purchases of controlled substances were set up with Petersen, and a wiretap was put on his phone. The wiretaps led to the other arrests and chain of suppliers.

John Casadei was the Dark Web to buy large amounts of fentanyl, Xanax, and oxycodone from China. From Casadei the drug went to Jared McBriarty, and then to Peterson.

Petersen then passed the drugs along to Orcutt, Enriquez, Correa, Cortiz, and Ziobron. Prescription pills were sold to Greco. Casadei then supplied the drugs to Jared McBriarty, who in turn sold them to Petersen. Those individuals then distributed the drugs throughout central Connecticut.

Enriquez’s home was also raided by the police and DEA on Thursday.