A 71-year-old Meriden felon caught trafficking 30 kilograms of cocaine from Arizona will now spend the next two decades in federal prison
Armando Cardona, a Meriden resident, was sentenced Thursday in federal court in Hartford to 20 years of imprisonment, followed by 10 years of supervised release, for trafficking narcotics. Cardona pleaded guilty to one count of a conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine.
According to a press release from the U.S. Justice Department, Arkansas State Police seized approximately 30 kilograms of narcotics being delivered from Phoenix, AZ, to Meriden on Dec. 10, 2009 with Cardona being the recipient here. Two days later, the Drug Enforcement Administration then conducted a controlled delivery of the cocaine in Meriden after making contact with Cardona.
He was arrested shortly therafter at his Bradley Road home, after which police searched the residence and seized approximately $372,000.
According to police, the investigation revealed that Cardona had agreed to pay a drug courier $30,000 to transport the cocaine between the two states from October to December 2009.
Cardona has a lengthy criminal history. In 1973, he committed a murder and was convicted and sentenced in New York to a term of incarceration of 25 years to life. In 1987, while incarcerated, he stabbed another inmate with a knife and received an 18 to 36-month consecutive sentence, police said.
In 1990, he was convicted in federal court of a cocaine distribution charge after he was discovered arranging kilogram-quantity cocaine deals from prison. Cardona has been detained since his arrest on December 12, 2009.
Several agencies were involved in the investigation, including the Arkansas State Police, the Pope County District Attorney’s Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration in New Haven and Little Rock, and the Meriden Police Department. The DEA Task Force in New Haven includes officers from the New Haven, West Haven, Meriden, Ansonia, Hamden and Branford Police Departments.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney S. Dave Vatti