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Wednesday, June 7, 2023

CT man who helped large-scale drug ring traffic heroin from Mexico gets 10-year sentence

A man from Bridgeport has been sentenced to more than 10 years in prison for his role in a large-scale heroin trafficking ring, federal officials said.

Jonathan Brown, 46, appeared in court in Hartford on Wednesday and was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant to 125 months in federal prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Investigators found that Brown was a close associate of Ivan “Ghost” Rosario, who ran a Bridgeport-based heroin trafficking ring that received at least 30 kilograms of heroin from Mexico, brought to Bridgeport inside secret motorcycle compartments, court records said.

The motorcycle-smuggled drugs were transported between April 2015 and March 2017 and then distributed throughout the city. Brown helped Rosario secure “stash houses” to store the drugs and helped package and distribute narcotics, according to court records.

Co-conspirators connected to the drug ring were charged in 2015, when law enforcement stopped a car driven by Wilfredo Rosado-Rodriguez and seized approximately $120,000 in suspected drug proceeds that he was couriering to New York, and in 2017 when Jose David Silva Pestano from Mexico was arrested in Nogales, Arizona, after crossing the border on a motorcycle carrying nearly 12 kilograms of heroin in a concealed compartment, according to court records.

Brown was arrested on March 3, 2017. That same month, a grand jury in Hartford returned an indictment charging Brown, Rosario, Rosado-Rodriguez, Silva Pestano and three others with heroin trafficking and related offenses, federal officials said.

Brown was released on a $250,000 bond and was scheduled to plead guilty on March 5, 2018, but did not show up to court. He was found in Mexico and arrested in September 2019. He has been detained since and, in December, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin, according to federal officials.

Rosario, Rosado-Rodriguez, and Silva Pestano were convicted of related charges. Rosario was sentenced in 2019 to over 17 years in prison, Silva Pestano was sentenced in 2018 to 87 months in prison and Rosado-Rodriguez was sentenced in April to five years in prison, federal officials said.

Brown was previously convicted in November 2012 for possession of ammunition by a felon and was sentenced to 34 months in prison, according to federal officials.

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