New Britain Herald – A Newington man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after tricking semi-truck drivers into bringing cocaine into Connecticut

A Newington man has been sentenced to a decade in prison for using truck drivers to smuggle drugs into Connecticut – during an investigation that saw more than $1 million in cash seized.

Angel Luis Rodriguez, also known as “Lou Rock,” 45, received his 10-year sentence last week during a hearing in federal court in Hartford, US Attorney’s Office officials said Monday.

The sentence will be followed by five years of supervised release.

According to federal officials, Rodriguez was involved in a drug operation in which semi-truck drivers hauled cocaine into Connecticut from out of state.

The Newington resident was first implicated in the narcotics operation in January 2018 when an undercover DEA agent posing as a money broker stole approximately $118,000 from a suspect, later identified as Rodriguez, as a result of dealing heroin assumed.

Then, in April 2018, the undercover agent took about $130,000 in drug trafficking proceeds from Rodriguez’s associate Ismael Roman, also known as “Poochie” or “Pete.”

In May 2019, investigators monitoring Rodriguez and Roman saw them meet someone at an employee’s home in Enfield. Investigators stopped Roman’s car and seized $27,000 in alleged narcotics proceeds.

On the same day, authorities searched the employee’s home and seized more than $1.1 million in cash.

During the investigation, authorities determined that Rodriguez and Roman conspired to traffic cocaine and that Rodriguez used semi-trailer drivers to haul narcotics into Connecticut.

On December 1, 2020, Rodriguez arranged for a semi truck driver to pick up approximately 30 pounds of cocaine in the Chicago area, truck the cocaine back to Connecticut, and then return to Chicago with payment for the drugs.

Two days later, the individual picked up 15 brick-shaped packages of cocaine, totaling 30 pounds (14.5 kg) at a Chicago-area rest stop. Rodriguez and Roman were arrested the next day, federal officials said.

Prior to his sentencing, Rodriguez had been jailed since his December 4, 2020 arrest. In July, he completed a plea bargain and pleaded guilty to attempted distribution of cocaine and to intentional possession.

Rodriguez was also ordered to pay a $3,000 fine.

Roman, 43, of Hartford, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine and was sentenced last month to 41 months in prison.

Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809

Posted in the New Britain Herald, Newington on Tuesday, November 15, 2022 11:31 am. Updated: Tuesday, November 15, 2022 11:34 AM.