The arrests in early May of Vernon couple and an Ellington man are just the next chapter in the long history of drug activity at a High Street residence.
The East Central Narcotics Task Force recently concluded its more than 18 month investigation of an alleged fraudulent prescription operation being run out of a home at 116 High St. in Rockville before making the arrests, according to a news release.
The investigation began in September of 2009 and police hope that with the most recent arrests – one of many of people involved, the ring will business of fabricating prescriptions and obtaining narcotics illegally will have ceased, at least from this space.
In a news release Monday, police outlined in chronological order how their investigation played out.
The task force discovered that several people were passing fake prescriptions at numerous pharmacies throughout Connecticut, according to the release. Task force officers initiated an undercover operation, which resulted in several members of the group selling the ''highly abused and highly addictive'' painkiller OxyContin to an undercover officer, according to the release.
During the investigation, the task force case officer investigating the matter learned that the group was getting the fake prescriptions from a guy named “Tony” from Rockville, according to the release.
Police said that after about two months of undercover purchases, task force members arrested Mathieu Fauteux, 24, of 72 Crane Rd., of Ellington, the presumed leader of the drug ring, after he had picked up more pills using a fake prescription. Fauteux was arrested without incident at the Denny’s in Vernon on March 23, 2010.
Fauteux was charged with possession of narcotics, possession with the intent to sell narcotics and possession and sale of narcotics within 1,500 feet of a prohibited place. His bond was set $75,000.
In addition, police charged Fauteux second-degree forgery, obtaining controlled drugs by a fraudulent manner, criminal impersonation and the criminal attempt/possession of narcotics. Police said the charges were based on the passing of fraudulent prescriptions in Vernon on Jan. 12, 2010 for 120 tablets of 30 mg Roxicodone.
The arrest would not be Fauteux’s last in connection with the drug undercover operation.
Police said as a result of Fauteux’s arrest, they were able to secure a search warrant in March 2010 for the home of Anthony “Tony” Navarro, 38, and Amanda Lesnowski, 28, at 116 High St. in Rockville. Ultimately, the two were arrested and charged with various drug related violations, according to police.
Police said they seized computers, printers, scanners and documents from the residence, in addition to prescription narcotics (OxyContin and Oxycodone) that had been obtained fraudulently from homemade prescriptions printed from a home computer by Navarro. At the time of the March 2010 search warrant execution there were three children - ages 17, 9, and1½-years-old - living in the house, police said.
Police charged Navarro with two counts of risk of injury to a minor, possession of narcotics, conspiracy to possess narcotics, second-degree conspiracy/forgery and operating a drug factory. His bond was set at $150,000. Navarro posted bond the following day after he was arraigned, police said.
Police charged Lesnowski with risk of injury to a child and possession of narcotics. Her bond was set at $10,000 and she posted her bond the night of her arrest, police said.
Over the next several months the investigation continued and more arrests were made.
Fauteux, who was being held by the Connecticut Department of Correction, was again arrested, this time on May 11, 2010, for his role in the drug ring, time the arrests were supported by four warrants. The charges included possession of narcotics and sale of narcotics, three counts of criminal liability for the possession of narcotics, three counts of criminal liability for the sale of narcotics, three counts of conspiracy in the possession of narcotics and three counts of conspiracy in the sale of narcotics. For this Fauteux was held on a $200,000 bond.
Police said on May 12, 2010, Navarro was arrested again, this time for violating the terms of his probation set forth because of his March 2010 arrest on the drug related charges previously reported. Police said he posted his $10,000 bond.
On Oct. 8, 2010 police made an additional arrest, this time of another individual they suspected to be part of the drug operation. Jakub Koziara, 25, of 28 Wells Rd., Ellington, was arrested for his role in the sale of illegally obtained prescription narcotics. Koziara is charged with possession of narcotics, sale of narcotics, conspiracy in the sale of narcotics and conspiracy in the possession of narcotics. His bond was set at $50,000, which he posted the following day.
During this time the task force was combing through the computer and other items seized from the High Street residence in April 2010, police said. By late November 2010, the forensic report was complete, police discovered what they said were the key components needed to complete the arrest warrants for Navarro, and other participants in the drug ring.
Fauteux was arrested, for the third time, on Jan. 28 for what police said was his ''total'' involvement in the passing of fraudulent prescriptions.
Fauteux was still being held by the Department of Correction so he was served with this newest round of arrest warrants for each count of passing a fraudulent prescription, 14 in total, when he was brought to Tolland County Superior Court in Rockville for an appearance related to his other pending cases. His bond was set at $255,000, police said.
Fauteux remains in state custody and has been incarcerated since the March 23, 2010 arrest. Police said he has been working on a plea agreement.
On Feb. 1, police found Navarro at his High Street house where they arrested him for the third time and charged him with 14 counts of passing fraudulent prescription and third-degree identity theft.
Navarro’s bond was set at $300,000. His attorney argued successfully for a lower bond and Navarro was released on total of $110,000, police said.
Within weeks of Navarro’s release, a task force officer heard from investigators in Massachusetts about a man named “Tony” from Rockville passing a large amount of fraudulent prescriptions in the Springfield, MA, area.
The investigation continued and more arrests were made in the drug ring.
On April 8, Abigail Daleb of 100 Wappingwood Rd., Ellington, was arrested for her role in the ring. She has been charged with five counts of passing fraudulent prescriptions. Daleb’s bond has been set at $90,000. At her arraignment, her bonds were lowered to a total of $50,000 enabling her to post bond.
On April 19, John Newton, 25, of 11 Westland Rd., Ellington, was arrested for selling the illegally obtained prescription drugs to undercover police officers early in the investigation. Newton is charged with narcotics possession and the sale of the drugs, his arrest came soon after he was released from corrections department custody on unrelated charges. Newton’s bond was set at $100,000, police said. So far, it is the only incident on Westland that seems to be related to the drug ring investigation.
Newton was unable to post his bond and he is currently being detained by the Department of Corrections, police said.
Police said throughout April, the task force continued to obtain information that Navarro and Lesnowski were once again passing fraudulent prescriptions throughout the region.
Police said that by May 3, enough evidence had been gathered to warrant another search of the Rockville residence, in addition to Navarro’s purple Dodge Caravan.
Police, again, confiscated several computers, printers and documents from the house and, also, the vehicle. In addition, police seized 43 folds of heroin, 3.5 grams of powder cocaine, 18 ecstasy tablets, and pre-printed fraudulent prescriptions. Based on what they found police arrested Navarro and Lesnowski on new charges.
Police charged Navarro with possession of narcotics (heroin), possession of a controlled substance (ecstasy), 32 counts of obtaining drugs by fraud, 32 counts of conspiracy to obtain drugs by fraud, and possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond was set at $500,000. It was modified to $99,000 cash at his arraignment. Navarro was unable to post bond and he is currently being held by the Department of Correction.
Police charged Lesnowski with two counts possession of narcotics (heroin and cocaine), possession of a controlled substance (ecstasy), 32 counts of obtaining drugs by fraud, 32 counts of conspiracy to obtain drugs by fraud and possession of drug paraphernalia. Her bond was set at $75,000. It was modified to $99,000 cash only at the arraignment. Lesnowski was unable to post bond and she is currently being held by the Department of Correction.
In addition to Navarro and Lesnowski, police arrested Christopher Boulanger, 21 of 142 Tripp Rd, Ellington, on May 4, charging him with two counts of possession of narcotics, two counts of sale of narcotics, two counts of obtaining drugs by fraud, two counts of second-degree forgery, two counts of conspiracy in the possession of narcotics, two counts of conspiracy in the sale of narcotics, two counts of conspiracy in obtaining drugs by fraud, and two counts of conspiracy to commit second-degree forgery.
At his May 5 arraignment arraigned was released from custody on a $45,000 bond, police said.
Police sassed the task force is completing the investigation and more arrests are anticipated for ''peripheral players in the operation.''
Police said they think that with Navarro and Mathieu in jail, the fraudulent prescription operation is dismantled.