Federal officials say the FBI,  and local and state police took part in a series of raids on heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine distribution trafficking operations in Hartford, Bridgeport and Springfield Wednesday.

U-S Attorney for Connecticut David Fein says 17 people face a variety of drug and firearms charges . 

Fein says the charges follow a seven-month Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation by a task force made up of personnel from the FBI, and Bridgeport, Norwalk and Trumbull police.

On Tuesday,  authorities arrested  Damont Gee, a.k.a. “Monty,” 34, of Beachwood Avenue, Bridgeport; Jorge Feliciano, 33, of Main Street, of Springfield, Mass.; Arvin Perez, 30, of Massachusetts Avenue, Springfield, Mass.; Leon Ritchens, 30, of Pleasant Street, Meriden; on charges of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine.

Ritchens and Lerona Barno-Swain, 34, of King Street, Hartford, also are charged with conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 280 grams or more of  crack cocaine.

Then on Wednesday,  law enforcement officers arrested 12 individuals in Fairfield County.  Eleven of them,  identified as Joseph Reyes, a.k.a. “Fat Joe” and “RJ,” 26, of Seaview Avenue, Bridgeport; Lakesha Bowles, 28, of Columbus Avenue, Stratford; Ralph Cora, a.k.a. “Petey” and “Pito,” 27, of Grand Street, Bridgeport; Richard Daniels, a.k.a. “Wap” and “Po,” 28, of Myrtle Avenue, Bridgeport; Raqiesha Davis, a.k.a. “Brooklyn,” 36, of Davenport Street, Bridgeport; Samantha Fogle, 23, of South Avenue, Bridgeport; Juan Nieves, 22, of Johnson Street, Bridgeport; Alexis Ramos, a.k.a. “Snake Rattle,” 28, of Merrell Avenue, Stamford; Ernest Williamson, a.k.a. “Twin” and “Harlem,” 35, of Suggetts Lane, Bridgeport;
Jonathan Williamson, a.k.a. “Rue,” 32, of Sage Avenue, Bridgeport;
Stefan Winston, a.k.a. “Cuda” and “Pooh,” 30, of Sage Avenue, Bridgeport, are charged by indictment with conspiracy to distribute and to possess with the intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin and 28 grams or more of crack cocaine.

A twelfth person,  Peter Johnson, 43, of Gregory Boulevard, Norwalk, is charged with use of a telephone to facilitate commission of a narcotics trafficking felony.

Authorities say in addition to the conspiracy charge, Reyes, Daniels, Nieves, Ramos, Ernest Williamson, Jonathan Williamson, and Winston are charged with conspiracy to maintain a drug-involved premise within 1000 feet of a school and a housing facility for the purpose of distributing one kilogram or more of heroin and 28 grams or more of crack cocaine.

Bowles also is charged with making a false statement in connection with the acquisition of firearms,  by telling a licensed firearms dealer during the purchase of two firearms by representing that she was the transferee of those firearms when, in fact, she knew the firearms were going to be transferred to someone else.

U.S. Attorney Fein stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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