Day – New London man and Stonington woman convicted of major drug operation

A New London man and a Stonington woman who ran a popular New London pizzeria were convicted in federal court Tuesday for carrying out a major drug smuggling operation in southeast Connecticut.

Convictions of Anthony “Jak Mak” Whyte, 47, and Amy Sarcia, 52, for drug trafficking, money laundering and firearms offenses mean that 25 people have now been convicted of their crimes. role in the drug network. Twenty-three of them had already pleaded guilty. Whyte and Sarcia’s trial before U.S. District Judge Victor A. Bolden in Bridgeport began on September 10. They were arrested in February 2019.

When convicted, Whyte will face between 15 years and life in prison. Sarcia, who owned 2Wives Brick Oven Pizza in New London and No Anchor Fine Food & Provisions in Noank, incurs a minimum of five and a maximum of 60 years behind bars. No date has been set for their convictions.

Last year, Sarcia rejected an offer to plead guilty to the charge of money laundering and accept a prison sentence of 46 to 57 months. In return, the government would dismiss the drug charge, which carries a mandatory five-year prison sentence.

Having now been convicted of the drug trafficking charge, she will now have to serve that mandatory five-year sentence plus any additional sentences imposed by the judge for the money laundering and drug convictions.

These convictions are the result of a broad investigation into the distribution of narcotics and possession of illegal firearms in the region carried out by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, the Statewide Narcotics Taskforce East, the State Department of Correction and the New London , Waterford, Town of Groton and Stonington Police Services. The investigation included court-authorized wiretaps as well as purchases and seizures of heroin, cocaine and firearms.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said that according to evidence presented during the trial, Whyte obtained heroin, fentanyl and cocaine from various sources in Connecticut, New York and other locations and took them. distributed to other members of the network, who sold the drugs to clients and other street drug traffickers.

Evidence also showed that Sarcia, who distributed and consumed cocaine, accepted money from the sale of drugs from Whyte and then gave him quarterly paychecks from 2Wives Brick Oven Pizza, as well as a federal tax form W -2, to make it look like the drug product was being paid to work in the restaurant.

The US attorney also said Sarcia accepted money from Whyte in exchange for permission to use three apartments, in a building she managed, to store and distribute narcotics.

When Whyte, Sarcia and several members of the drug ring were arrested, police searched Whyte’s apartment in New London and found over 1.5 kilograms of cocaine; about 185 grams of heroin and 100 grams of fentanyl and fentanyl tablets; 10 firearms, several of which were stolen; and about $ 25,000 in cash. Police also seized other narcotics, another firearm and nearly $ 200,000 in cash from other members of the drug ring.

The federal jury found Whyte and Sarcia guilty on Tuesday of one count of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute various narcotics and one count of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments, which is a charge of money laundering. silver. Whyte was also convicted of three counts of possession with intent to distribute and distributing various narcotics, and one count of possession of a firearm for the purpose of the felony of drug trafficking.

Federal Homeland Security Investigations, the US Marshals Service, and the Norwich, Old Saybrook and University of Connecticut Police Departments also participated in the investigation. The case was continued by Deputy US Prosecutors Natasha M. Freismuth and Angel M. Krull.

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