STAMFORD, Conn. – Stamford police took part in a drug-trafficking investigation that resulted in 20 arrests, most of which took place Monday and Tuesday, according to a statement from U.S. Attorney David B. Fein.
Traffickers were bringing the highly addictive prescription narcotic oxycodone from West Palm Beach, Fla., to Connecticut through Westchester County Airport, Fein said. The smugglers got through security by bribing three airport security officials as well as a Westchester County police officer, he said.
“In these times, no one needs to be reminded about how dangerous it is when officers who have sworn to uphold the law accept money ‘to look the other way,’” Fein said. The bribes ranged in value and were in the form of cash or gift cards, he said.
Authorities learned about the ring in April after receiving information that an individual was traveling from West Palm Beach to Stamford with large quantities of pills. That person was arrested April 8 in a Stamford hotel in possession of about 6,000 oxycodone pills, Fein said.
The individual then explained how the operation worked. He would come from Florida with about 8,000 pills, sell them for about $10 per pill and then return to Florida with the proceeds, Fein said.
Fein said the drugs were sold in “lots of places in Connecticut.” Several people from Waterbury and Naugatuck were among those arrested for buying, selling or having the oxycodone, a statement said.
The following 16 people were arrested Monday or Tuesday morning in the case: Christopher Allen of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.; John Best of Port St. Lucie, Fla.; Brigitte Jones of the Bronx, N.Y.; Michael Brady of New York; Justin Kolves of Florida; Jessica Douglas of Florida; Sami Naber of Yonkers, N.Y.; Emmanuel Babe of Mount Kisco, N.Y.; Wilner Castelin of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Bruce Yazdik of Waterbury; David Gaudiosi of Waterbury; Patrick Serafine of Waterbury; Marivette Alicea of Waterbury; Christopher Roderick of Canterbury; Steven Stopper of Naugatuck; Kevin Lund of Naugatuck; Bernard Famiglietti of Waterbury; and Sandra Canfield of Waterbury.
The investigation will continue as authorities look into how the traffickers obtained the oxycodone pills.
To reach reporter Anthony Buzzeo, email tbuzzeo@TheDailyStamford.com.