The “Boss of Bosses” of a large-scale drug organization was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison on Friday. 51-year-old Juan Valdez (photo above) ran a business which imported multiple kilograms of heroin and cocaine from Mexico that was distributed to mid-level and street dealers in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.
Valdez and his brothers Claudio and Hector, all Dominican nationals, directed numerous multi-kilogram shipments of heroin and cocaine from Mexico to drug stash houses in Cranston and Woonsocket, Rhode Island. The narcotics were then supplied under the Valdez brothers’ orders to mid-level drug dealers and street pushers in the greater Providence and Boston areas and in Hartford, Connecticut.
A Dominican drug lord referred to as “The Maestro” was the group’s main supplier. He dealt directly with Valdez, who spent most days at the organization’s primary stash house in Cranston where he oversaw the organization’s finances.
In April 2017, based on information developed by the FBI Safe Streets Task Force during an investigation dubbed “Operation Triple Play,” a reference to the three Valdez brothers, the FBI, assisted by federal, state, and local law enforcement agents and officers in three states, executed 16 federal arrest warrants and 13 federal search warrants.
Court-authorized search warrants executed at the Cranston stash house resulted in the seizure of multiple kilograms of controlled substances, primarily fentanyl; several pounds of cutting agents; and more than $351,000 in cash. The drugs and most of the cash were located in sophisticated, electronically-actuated hides constructed under the flooring of the apartment. Law enforcement also seized more than $8,500 from Juan Valdez’s Milton, Massachusetts, residence.
During the course of Operation Triple Play, which the FBI Safe Streets Task Force launched in September 2016, the investigation into the Valdez operation resulted in the purchases or seizures of laboratory tested and confirmed controlled substances totaling approximately 142g of crack cocaine, 1,654g of cocaine, 3,836g of heroin (of which 2,183.3g contained fentanyl), 3,493g of fentanyl, and more than 137 lbs. (62 kilograms) of cutting agents.
Claudio Valdez was sentenced to 20 years in prison on November 28, 2018. Hector Valdez is scheduled to be sentenced on January 18, 2019.
The Valdez brothers reentered the country illegally after having been previously convicted of felony drug crimes and deported. Juan Valdez reentered the country illegally on at least four occasions. Immigration detainers have been lodged against all three men.
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