Feds: Stamford man found with 2 kilograms of heroin sentenced

Photo of Nicholas Rondinone

A Stamford man who was found with more than 2 kilograms of heroin during a lengthy investigation was sentenced Tuesday to more than six years in prison, federal prosecutors said.

Joaquin Veras, 46, pleaded guilty last September to a heroin trafficking offense, according to federal authorities. U.S. District Judge Kari A. Dooley also ordered Veras to serve five years of supervised release once he leaves prison.

According to federal court records, investigators twice made controlled purchases through a confidential informant of roughly 100 grams of heroin from Veras in the spring of 2019.

Following the two purchases, investigators arranged to buy $58,000 of a kilogram of heroin from Veras, court records show.

After that deal was made, authorities arrested Veras in Stamford with more than a kilogram of heroin, according to federal prosecutors.

When they later raided a Stamford apartment used as his stash house, federal prosecutors said they found another kilogram of heroin, some cocaine, and about $7,000 in cash.

In a sentencing memorandum filed ahead of Veras’ appearance Tuesday, federal prosecutors wrote: “There is no dispute that Veras knowingly possessed 2.1 kilograms of heroin, which he intended to distribute, and from which he expected to profit in excess of $100,000.”

The prosecutors acknowledged the ongoing opioid epidemic, which accounted for hundreds of deaths during the time frame in which they believe Veras was dealing heroin.

“And while Veras has not been linked to any specific opioid deaths, the sale of multi-kilogram quantities translates to tens-of-thousands of individual doses,” federal prosecutors wrote.

In asking for leniency, Veras’ attorney wrote in a sentencing memorandum: “There is no doubt that Mr. Veras’ understands the seriousness of his offense and the result his criminal conduct has had upon his family. Mr. Veras’ is viewing his current situation as a learning experience and will continue focused on improving as a person.”

Veras was previously convicted of conspiracy to distribute heroin in New York in 2011, according to federal prosecutors.

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Bridgeport High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force and the Stamford Police Department, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Vizcarrondo, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.