Aug 19, 2014
08:53 AM
Connecticut Today

Gangs of New London: New Guilty Plea in 'Green Garages' Case

Gangs of New London: New Guilty Plea in 'Green Garages' Case

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They were called the “Green Garages” and Jose Rosado Jr. became involved with them when he was a just a teenager.

Court documents refer to them as a “criminal organization”; members of the public would probably call them a gang. They distributed cocaine, marijuana, heroin and other narcotics from a series of green garage bays located as 12/14 Walker Street in New London. Allegedly, they regularly engaged in acts of violence. In 2011 and 2012 this violence intensified and Rosado was in the center of it.

In late July, Rosado, who is 21 but was in his late teens in 2012, pleaded guilty to one count of committing a violent crime in aid of racketeering, and aiding and abetting the same.

Prior to 2011, violence perpetrated by the Green Garages was not uncommon—in fact. it was a proven method of intimidation, a way to defend the gang’s turf. “Members and associates of the enterprise used threats of violence and violence, which at times included assault, to promote and protect the enterprise’s drug trafficking operation,” alleges the U.S. Attorneys office in court documents. Little effort was made to hide these acts as members of the organization wanted people to know what they had done, which sent a clear message. “These acts and threats were perpetrated in a conspicuous manner in order to maintain control over members of the enterprise and to deter anyone who posed a threat to the continued vitality and success of the criminal activities of the enterprise.”

In the summer of 2011, this violence intensified when a dispute erupted over narcotics trafficking between former and current members of the gang over the right to distribute narcotics at the Green Garages. As a result, the former members hatched a plan to kidnap and kill Oscar Valentin, who also answered to the nickname “Tato,” and who allegedly founded and led the Green Garages. If they eliminated Valentin, the former members believed they could take over narcotics distribution at the Green Garages. The Day in New London writes: “Last October, Elmer Melendez, 30, of New London was sentenced to three years in prison for conspiring to kill Valentin in August 2011. According to the state, Antonio "Wilson" Peña of New London had arranged to pay Melendez and Gerardo Carrillo a total of $15,000 to kill Valentin.”

The plot was foiled when, on their way to Valentin’s apartment, the would-be assassins were arrested by police who had been tipped off by an informant.

Though the power play by his rivals had failed, Valentin allegedly still struck back. He is accused of paying Rosado, who was a teenager at the time, and possibly others, to assault Javier Reyes, brother-in-law of Pena, the rival drug dealer who had tried to eliminate Valentin the previous year.

On the evening of September 12, 2012, Reyes, 36, was stabbed multiple times outside of his apartment on Huntington Street in New London, and also suffered a blunt-force trauma to the head. He died a short time later.

According to court documents, video surveillance at the time of the attack shows Rosado, carrying a bat, and another individual, creeping toward Reyes and then running away from him about 15 seconds later.

Rosado has been held since his arrest in January. When sentenced, he faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years. His lawyer, Aaron Romano, says he can’t say much about this ongoing case.

“My understanding is there are still people who are involved who the Feds are looking for,” Romano says. “So I prefer to decline to comment on the case other than to say, it's just an unfortunate case because there were a lot of people who were involved and hurt by it, including my client and those close to him.” 

Contact me by email eofgang@connecticutmag.com and follow me on Twitter, and connect with Connecticut Magazine on Twitter, on Facebook and Google +

 

Gangs of New London: New Guilty Plea in 'Green Garages' Case

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