Local April 4, 2013 | 8:41 am

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The DEA says Dominican caught in Connecticut is a major drug trafficker

Santo Domingo.- State and federal agents arrested a Dominican they affirm heads a ring which smuggles heroin and cocaine from Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico the New England region, according to local and U.S. media reports.

The authorities say the detainee Luis Ariel Capellan Maldonado, brought "multiple kilos" of heroin from his country and worked with several accomplices to distribute it in southeastern Connecticut.

From his apartment in New London, Maldonado supplied raw cocaine to customers, often in quantities of 50 to 150 grams, according to the officials.

The Dominican also obtained the drug in New York and Rhode Island. Another 100 people were arrested in connection with the network.

More than 700 federal and state agents executed arrest warrants in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Puerto Rico and Rhode Island and 52 of the detainees face federal narcotics and money laundering charges, and state charges on 51 others.

According to prosecutors, the heroin came mostly from the Dominican Republic, organized by Capellan "Ariel" resident of New London, w ho allegedly coordinated the shipments using "mules."

For cocaine, the authorities note that the smuggling is centered around Pedro Rivera "Cheíto" also established in New London, who resorted to various methods such as the U.S. postal service.

William Brownfield, a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) senior official, yesterday said in Puerto Rico that drug trafficking through the Caribbean will likely increase during the next few years, as illicit operations move to the tropics because of the operations against crime organized in much of Latin America.

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