BRATTLEBORO — A Connecticut man accused of moving more than 30 kilograms of heroin into Brattleboro and across Vermont was sentenced to 120 months in prison.
According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Vermont, Jose Fontanez, 33, of Hartford, Conn., pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiring to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin, 400 grams or more of fentanyl, and 500 grams or more of cocaine between 2010 and 2018.
Fontanez was arrested in Holyoke, Mass., on Nov. 26, 2018, following an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Vermont State Police Drug Task Force, which included 11 recorded phone calls with a confidential informant.
After Fontanez’s arrest, the FBI executed a search warrant at Fontanez’s “stash house” in Hartford, where agents seized a mixture of heroin and fentanyl as well as packaging materials identical to those possessed by Fontanez at the time of his arrest.
Subsequent investigation revealed that Fontanez used his stash house to process, package, and store heroin, and that Fontanez, with co-conspirators, moved and sold in Vermont, Connecticut, Maine, and elsewhere.
“Drugs like heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine are illegal because they are dangerous,” acting Acting U.S. Attorney Jonathan Ophardt stated in the news release. “The consumption of these illicit substances rips at the fabric of our communities, results in the deterioration of our families, and impacts all aspects of our lives.”
Ophardt thanked the FBI in Vermont, the Vermont State Police Drug Task Force, the FBI Northern Connecticut Gang Task Force, the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Hartford Regional Office, the New Hampshire State Police, and the FBI Western Massachusetts Gang Task Force for their assistance.