Waterbury Lawyer Hired To Defend Man Arrested In Largest Cocaine Bust in State History

Bricks of cocaine. Image courtesy of the U.S. Government.

   Atty. Martin Minnella today called on the State Police to arrest the United Parcel Service driver that carried nearly 250 pounds of raw cocaine to a UPS facility in Windsor.

   “Why arrest one delivery man and not the other?” Minnella said.

   Edwin Olivo, a man with no criminal record and a U.S. Air Force veteran who served in the Middle East, was charged when he picked up a package at the UPS facility in Windsor.  Minnella said that Olivo, 37, of Bronx, NY, had no knowledge of the contents of the package, just as the UPS driver who brought the package to Windsor.

   Olivo, who operates an independent delivery service, had been hired to pick up the package and deliver it to an address in Plainville, Conn.

   “Ed never opened the package.  He just loaded it into his rented truck as he has with dozens of other deliveries from many clients he serves in Connecticut and New York,” Minnella said.  “I don’t see how he is any different from the UPS driver who brought the package to Windsor in the first place.  Neither of these people are allowed to open packages.  Neither were aware of the contents.  Both were simply taking a package from one place to another.  Why didn’t they follow Ed on his delivery and arrest the intended recipient?”

   Following the arrest in May, police said the confiscated 242 pounds of pure, uncut cocaine was allegedly worth approximately $6 million, perhaps the largest cocaine confiscation in state history.

   Olivo currently is being held at the McDougal-Walker Correctional Center in Suffield, in lieu of $2 million bond.  He is charged with possession of the narcotics as well as possession with intent to sell or distribute.

   Police said the package was shipped from Puerto Rico.  UPS representatives called police when they believed the package looked suspicious.  It was being shipped to a James Smith, owner of a Plainville business.  Smith told UPS that he was not expecting any packages, police said.  The packaged had been labeled “elevator parts.”

   Pre-trial motions are scheduled to be heard on September 20 in Hartford Superior Court.

   Minnella, who has handled numerous drug cases over more than 30 years of practicing criminal law, said, “The evidence I have seen thus far certainly makes it seem that Ed was trapped.  I don’t blame the police for making this arrest.  I just think they acted too quickly.  They should have arrested the person ultimately receiving the shipment.”

   “At the moment, it just looks like Ed was doing his normal job and happened to be picking up the wrong package at the wrong time,” he added.