BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- Five people were arrested Wednesday in connection with a drug trafficking ring that was operated out of two grocery stores in Bridgeport, according to state police.
State police said they received information in September that a drug trafficking organization was distributing cocaine and heroin throughout Bridgeport. Witnesses told police that the organization was being run by Yearli "Pretty Boy" Rodriguez, 29, of Bridgeport, who manages the El Mismo Primo #7 grocery store on Noble Avenue, according to police.
According to police, the drugs were being packaged in the Seymour home of 23-year-old Wilberto Colon. Colon's wife, 24-year-old Katherine Peralta-DelRosario, owns Kate's Grocery on East Main Street in Bridgeport. Police said that the drugs would be transported to the two grocery stores, which are a three-minute drive apart from each other, where they would be sold.
During the course of the investigation, police identified several members of the drug trafficking organization. One member was 41-year-old Leo Rivera of Bridgeport, also known as Moises or Robert Paula, according to police. Another member of the organization was 29-year-old Alvaro "Mexicano" Ozuna of Bridgeport, police said.
Police had cooperating witnesses contact Rodriguez several times to buy cocaine between September and February. During a number of these transactions, Rodriguez would contact Rivera or Ozuna to transport drugs or money, and would often meet up with Colon as well, according to police. Several of the members of the organization were seen meeting up at El Mismo Primo #7 and at Kate's Grocery while conducting drug deals under surveillance, police said.
Police said that Rivera and Ozuna each took part in drug sales on two separate occasions, while Rodriguez participated in 13 drug sales during the investigation.
Police also searched the garbage of Colon and Peralta-DelRosario's home in Seymour and found packaging material consistent with the material the cocaine had been sold in, as well as a small rock that later tested positive for cocaine.
Warrants were issued for all five members of the drug trafficking organization and they were taken into custody on Wednesday.
When police conducted a search warrant of Kate's Grocery on Wednesday, they found 2,212 grams of cocaine, a sawed off shotgun, scales and approximately $15,460 in cash, according to police reports.
Rodriguez was charged with 14 counts of sale of a controlled substance and four counts of conspiracy. He was held on a $500,000 bond. Rivera was charged with two counts of possession with intent to sell and two counts of conspiracy. He was held on a $150,000 bond. Ozuna was charged with two counts of sale of a controlled substance. He was held on a $150,000 bond.
Colon and Peralta-DelRosario were both charged with operating a drug factory, two counts of possession with intent to sell, distribution of a controlled substance within 1,500 feet of a school and possession of a sawed off shotgun. They were both held on $250,000 bonds, and their 3-year-old child was taken into custody by the Department of Children and Families.