Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England, today announced that a federal grand jury in Hartford has returned an indictment charging NERICK DIAZ-QUESADA, 24, of New Britain, with cocaine trafficking and firearm possession offenses.

The indictment was returned on November 21, 2022.  Diaz-Quesada appeared today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas O. Farrish in Hartford and pleaded not guilty to the charges.  He has been detained since his arrest on November 10, 2022.

As alleged in court documents, on November 10, 2022, members of the DEA’s Hartford Task Force and New Britain Police Department executed a court-authorized search warrant at an apartment located on LaSalle Street in New Britain suspected of being used as a location to store, process and package narcotics for distribution.  Diaz-Quesada was apprehended after he attempted to flee from investigators when they entered the apartment.  A search of bedroom that Diaz-Quesada used revealed more than two kilograms of cocaine, a loaded Glock 9mm handgun, narcotics packaging materials, and a large amount of cash.

The indictment charges Diaz-Quesada with one count of possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, an offense that carries a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years and a maximum term of imprisonment of 40years, and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking activity, an offense that carries a mandatory consecutive term of imprisonment of at least five years.

U.S. Attorney Avery stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt.  Charges are only allegations, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This investigation is being conducted by the DEA’s Hartford Task Force, which includes personnel from the DEA Hartford Resident Office, the Connecticut State Police, and the Bristol, Hartford, East Hartford, Enfield, Manchester, New Britain, Rocky Hill, Wethersfield, Windsor Locks and Willimantic Police Departments.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Geoffrey M. Stone through the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Program.  OCDETF identifies, disrupts and dismantles drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs and transnational criminal organizations through a prosecutor-led and intelligence-driven approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.  Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.

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