Twice a year, the Connecticut State Police honors Troopers who demonstrate bravery and outstanding service in the line of duty. The ceremony also honors men and women serving in local and federal law enforcement agencies, those serving as first responders, and civilians. Award winners received medals and certificates from Commissioner Reuben F. Bradford and State Police Colonel Danny R. Stebbins.
The Groton Town Police department was honored for its collaborative work related to a major regional drug trafficking case.
The Unit Citation is awarded to members of a department, a command or group who combine their resources to achieve success in an investigation or event. The citation recognizes exceptional collective efforts.
Here is the CSP narrative from today's ceremony:
State Police Statewide Narcotics Task Force, Putnam Police Dept., U.S. Attorney’s Office, New London State’s Attorney, U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Marshal’s Service, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Homeland Security Investigations, New London Police Dept., Norwich Police Dept., Groton Town Police Dept., East Lyme Police Dept., Waterford Police Dept.
An investigation was initiated in 2012 to combat narcotics-trafficking and money laundering in New London. The investigation revealed two overlapping conspiracies in New London County to distribute heroin and cocaine. The two conspiracies used a variety of methods to import narcotics from the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico into southeastern Connecticut and involved scores of individuals who distributed wholesale amounts of drugs.
The Connecticut State Police Statewide Narcotics Task Force East Office was part of this investigation from its inception. A third parallel Corrupt Organization and Racketeering Act (CORA) investigation identified nine of 112 targets as part of the State Police case. Task Force personnel utilized court-authorized wiretaps, extensive physical surveillance, and controlled purchases and seizures of cocaine and heroin. Law enforcement executed multiple search warrants, seizing five kilograms of cocaine and heroin, two kilograms of marijuana, 12 firearms, 16 vehicles and more than $36,000 in cash.
On April 3, 2013, more than 700 law enforcement officers involved in the operation executed scores of federal and state arrest warrants in Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Puerto Rico. Fifty-two individuals were arrested on federal narcotics and money laundering charges, and 56 individuals were arrested on state narcotics and related charges. Task Force members executed eight arrest warrants for the CORA targets. An additional two related arrests were made for narcotics offenses.
During the course of the investigation, three additional individuals were previously arrested and charged with federal firearms offenses, and five individuals were previously arrested and charged with state narcotics violations.
This cooperative effort by federal, state and local law enforcement is the largest of its kind to date in New London County. All involved earned the Unit Citation Award.