Visitors, I hope you are following the story that is unfolding in Connecticut.
- A drug dealer is busted for selling steroids and claims that’s he’s been selling to area high school athletes.
- School officials are in “shock” as they can’t believe that their athletes would do something like this
- The Feds now claim that local cops tipped off the drug dealer in order to help him avoid arrest.
It is time to hold our officials accountable for their poor leadership on this topic. Â And it begins by mandating formal training for every coach, athletic director, athletic trainer and others who are charged with supervising our children on the athletic field.
BRIDGEPORT — The reputed head of a drug trafficking organization that allegedly dealt in anabolic steroids and marijuana in Greater Danbury got help from unidentified Danbury police officers, according to a federalÂ prosecutor.
Special Assistant U.S. AttorneyÂ Joseph VizcarrondoÂ claimed in open court on March 1 that the officers informedÂ Mark MansaÂ that he was a target of an investigation and in one instance identified investigating DanburyÂ detectives.
Furthermore, Vizcarrondo said that Mansa, the 46-year-old Bethel businessman who federal investigators say headed the steroid operation that numbered Greater Danbury high school student-athletes among its customers, bragged to associates that “his connections go further than theÂ Danbury Police Department.”
Police and top elected officials in the three communities expressed surprise at the allegations and defended the members of their policeÂ departments.
Danbury MayorÂ Mark BoughtonÂ was equally as skeptical. He said the allegations don’t jibe with the facts of the investigation, which originated within the Danbury PoliceÂ Department.
Danbury Police ChiefÂ Al BakerÂ said the statements “sound like rumors spread by a defense attorney,” andÂ Wilton First Selectman William BrennanÂ defended the members of his town’s department as “the straightest bunch of arrowsÂ going.”
Speaking in court on March 1, Vizcarrondo said, “Even if the connections that he has bragged about repeatedly on the wire and to cooperating witnesses is less than truthful, the idea is that Mr. Mansa knows what’s coming, knows when the heat is on, can get out from under it and has enough information to do what needs to be done to protect himself and his enterprise either through the strength and strongarm of gangs like theÂ Hells AngelsÂ or Bonannos (to which two co-defendants reputedly have ties) or if necessary through other means like local law enforcement… That becomes incrediblyÂ troubling.”
The allegations were made during Mansa’s bond hearing conducted in open court March 1 before U.S. Magistrate Judge WilliamÂ I. Garfinkel.
Garfinkel granted Vizcarrondo’s request to detain Mansa without bond as a danger to the community and risk ofÂ flight.
Hearst Media Services, parent firm of The News-Times and theÂ Connecticut Post, obtained an audio recording of the hearing in which the allegations wereÂ made.
Thomas Carson, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, declined to comment on the disclosure except to say the investigation isÂ ongoing.
During the March 1 hearing, Vizcarrondo said there is evidence in one instance that “Mr. Mansa and his associates were able to identify DanburyÂ detectives…”
He said calls were made “to members of the Danbury Police Department” to obtain information and “by those means… he was able to confirm that he was a target of anÂ investigation.”
As a result, the prosecutor said, Mansa changed “his patterns and his practices inÂ response.”
None of the officers allegedly involved was identified, nor have any officers been charged in connection with theÂ case.
So far, Mansa, formerly ofÂ Empire Lane, Bethel;Â Kevin Lubic, 48, of Salem, N.Y., a reputed member of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club’s New Roc City chapter; Richard Sciaccetano, of Sturat, Fla., who prosecutors say has ties to the Bonanno crime family, which his lawyer,Â Robert Golger, denies; andÂ Glenn WagnerÂ of Brookfield have been charged in a four-year-long conspiracy to distribute more than 220 pounds of marijuana inÂ Connecticut.
Additionally, Mansa is charged with conspiring from January 2004 through Feb. 24, 2011, to distribute anabolic steroids, particularly nadrolone decanoate (also known as deca durabolin) and testosterone. His customers include adults, body builders and high school athletes, according to theÂ feds.
No other defendants have been charged in that alleged conspiracy. It is alleged that Mansa monthly sold 70 bottles of 200 milligram anabolic steroids for as much as $90Â each.
Mansa and Wagner were arrested Feb. 24 following what police said was a $60,000 marijuana deal. Federal investigators, working with the Danbury Police Department’sÂ Special Investigation DivisionÂ and Brookfield police seized 40 pounds of marijuana and a sawed-off shotgun fromÂ Wagner.
Wagner is expected to plead not guilty to the marijuana conspiracy and two gun charges when he is arraigned Friday morning before U.S. Magistrate JudgeÂ Holly B. Fitzsimmons. The judge will determine if Wagner, who is undergoing chemotherapy, will be released onÂ bond.
Late Thursday afternoon Fitzsimmons did allow Lubic released on $1 million bond, which was posted by hisÂ father.
Lubic, who is still on federal probation supervision from a prior federal marijuana conspiracy conviction, was placed on curfew and ordered to undergo substance abuseÂ treatment.
Vizcarrondo said Mansa and Lubic are very friendly and oftenÂ socialize.
During Mansa’s March 1 hearing, Vizcarrondo accused Lubic of making telephone calls to the family of a cooperatingÂ witness.
During the call, Lubic allegedly asked about the witness’s health, his location and his well-being “in a menacing manner,” the prosecutorÂ said.
That witness later found a rubber rat tossed onto his frontÂ doorstep.
The prosecutor said the implication was that the witness “should shut his mouth or things might happen toÂ him.”
Neither Lubic nor his lawyer,Â Jeffrey ChartierÂ of New York, would comment on the charges as they left the courthouseÂ Thursday.