Police make several arrests in early morning drug raid in Meriden

reporter photo

MERIDEN — Police made several arrests while seizing drugs, guns and cash during an early morning raid on a South First Street home Monday. 

Officers executed a search warrant at 57 S. First St. around 3:44 a.m. making seven arrests, police spokesman Lt. John Mennone said in a statement.

Detectives recovered two handguns, ammunition, nearly $5,000 and “a considerable amount of drugs and drug paraphernalia," Mennone said.

Police charged Angel Rojas, 27, with possession of narcotics with intent to sell, conspiracy, possession with intent to sell within 1,500 feet of a school and interfering with a search warrant. He was held on $300,000 bond.

Denzell Woolard, 20, faces the same charges along with carrying a pistol without a permit. Woolard was held on $250,000 bond.

Pierre Langlois, 18, was charged with risk of injury to a minor, possession of narcotics with intent to sell, conspiracy, possession with intent to sell within 1,500 feet of a school and interfering with a search warrant. He was held on $150,000 bond.

Luis Pellot, 20, and Betsy Gonzalez, 35, were both charged with risk of injury to a minor. Pellot was held on $50,000 bond and Gonzalez was held on $25,000 bond.

Carlos Serrano, 26, was charged with interfering with a search warrant. He was also arrested on an active warrant for second-degree assault out of Middletown and turned over to Middletown police.

A juvenile was also arrested as a result of the investigation. Police did not release the charges.

Mennone initially told the Record-Journal five people were charged in connection with the search warrant.

The raid was conducted by the Meriden police Crime Suppression Unit, Detective Division, Meriden SWAT Team and the Cheshire/Wallingford Regional SWAT Team, according to Mennone.

“As a result of this investigation, these officers formulated and executed a plan to remove illegal weapons and narcotics from the streets of Meriden and successfully completed this mission without any injury to themselves or the public,” Mennone said in the statement. “We are extremely proud of their efforts and commend them for their dedicated work to the safety of the citizens of Meriden.”

‘I just stay away’

Rita Brovender, of 31 S. First St., said Monday afternoon she didn’t hear anything going on outside because she was asleep with her air conditioner on. Brovender has lived on the street for over 20 years and said she keeps to herself. 

“I’m used to it,” Brovender said of the incident. “This is nothing new to me. I just stay away”

Another neighbor who spoke on condition of anonymity said she and her boyfriend were awakened by the raid. 

“It was boom, boom, everybody on the ground,” the woman said, describing officers entered the unit. 

The neighbor said it’s not the first time she has witnessed issues at the home and was not surprised by Monday’s arrests.

On April 19, police responded to the same address for a report of gunshots and found one man with injuries at the home, according to police at the time. 

In a separate incident in February, Langlois, one of the men charged Monday, was shot on North Colony Road at least three times suffering injuries to his liver, kidney and spine, according to an arrest affidavit.

Pedro Montalvo, 16, of 882 N. Colony Road, faces charges of first-degree assault, stealing a firearm, illegal discharge of a firearm, first-degree reckless endangerment, and violation of pistol permit requirements in the Feb. 22 shooting. He has pleaded not guilty and his next court date is Aug. 15 in New Haven Superior Court. Montalvo is being tried as an adult.

The home at 57 South First St. is owned by Luis M. Torres of Middletown.

Torres said he was told by a co-worker about the raid and responded to the property to assess damage to the door. Under the terms of the lease, only the tenant Gonzalez and her daughter are permitted to live in the unit, Torres said, adding that the lease runs through the beginning of next year “so there’s nothing I can do technically, according to my lawyer.”

Torres said he was aware of the shooting at the property in April but was told by the tenant that she was not involved.

“I’ve been renting that property since 1991 and I’ve never had a problem like this,” he said.



Twitter: @LaurenSellewRJ

With local school, politics and coronavirus news being more important now than ever, please help our newsroom deliver the coverage you deserve. Please support Local news.

More From This Section