Man Sentenced for Drug-Trafficking was Laundering Money Through CT Auto Repair Shop

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William "Willy" Valerio-Palermo, 37, a citizen of the Dominican Republic last residing in East Hartford, CT, was sentenced April 13 by U.S. District Judge Alvin W. Thompson in Hartford to 70 months of imprisonment for trafficking acetylfentanyl, a fentanyl analogue.

Vanessa Roberts Avery, U.S. attorney for the District of Connecticut, made the announcement.

According to court documents and statements made in court, in 2018, law enforcement received information that Valerio was trafficking kilogram-quantities of fentanyl and was using his Hartford auto repair business to launder drug proceeds. On July 12, 2018, a court-authorized search of a West Hartford apartment Valerio rented found approximately 6 kilograms of acetylfentanyl, items used to process and package narcotics, and approximately $49,000 in cash.

Valerio has been detained since his arrest July 12, 2018. He pleaded guilty July 6, 2021. Valerio faces immigration proceedings when he completes his prison term.

This investigation was conducted by the DEA’s Hartford Task Force and the FBI’s Northern Connecticut Gang Task Force. The Drug Enforcement Administration’s Hartford Task Force includes personnel from the DEA Hartford Resident Office, the Connecticut State Police and the Bristol, Hartford, East Hartford, Enfield, Manchester, New Britain, Rocky Hill, Wethersfield, Windsor Locks and Willimantic police departments.

The FBI’s Northern Connecticut Gang Task Force includes the Hartford, East Hartford, New Britain and West Hartford police departments, Connecticut State Police and Connecticut Department of Correction.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian P. Leaming through the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Program. OCDETF identifies, disrupts and dismantles drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs and transnational criminal organizations through a prosecutor-led and intelligence-driven approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

Source: U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Connecticut

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