Ex-Connecticut police dispatcher pleads guilty to drug distribution

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 20, 2015 12:23 PM

By Richard Weizel

MILFORD, Conn. (Reuters) - A former Connecticut police department civilian dispatcher faces up to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to participating in a ring that distributed anabolic steroids, cocaine and prescription drugs, federal prosecutors said on Tuesday.

Jason Chickos, 46, is one of 11 people charged with taking part in the ring, which the U.S. Attorney's office in Connecticut said was run by a police sergeant who served as the main spokesman for the Newtown, Connecticut police following the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.

Chickos, of Bridgeport, on Monday became the third person charged in the case to plead guilty to conspiracy charges and will be sentenced in January in U.S. District Court in Hartford, officials said.

Prosecutors said Sergeant Steven Santucci helped run the ring, which imported steroid ingredients from China, from his desk at the police department. Santucci has pleaded not guilty to charges including conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and money laundering.

Federal investigators seized hundreds of vials of steroids, about 600 grams of raw testosterone powder, more than 1,000 oxycodone pills, about 350 grams of powder cocaine and four firearms, according to court records.

Another man charged in connection with the drug ring died in September.

The two others who have pleaded guilty, Michael Mase and Mark Bertanza, also face up to 10 years in prison. They are awaiting sentencing.

Eight others including Santucci are awaiting trial.

(Editing by Scott Malone and Will Dunham)