A former Florida state trooper has been sentenced in federal court to a seven year prison term for his part in a drug trafficking ring spanning the East Coast that also involved a resident .
U.S. Attorney for Connecticut David B. Fein announced that Justin Kolves, 29, of Florida, was sentenced Friday by U.S. District Court Judge Janet C. Hall in Bridgeport federal court to 84 months, followed by three years of supervised release.
Fein said Kolves provided “protection” for the drug traffickers as they transported and delivered large quantities of narcotics in 2011. He resigned from the Florida Highway Patrol after he was caught, and pleaded guilty in March.
On Monday, Naugatuck resident Stephen Stopper, 47, received a two-year sentence, three years of probation and a $2,500 fine as part of a ring that transported Oxycodone, a highly addictive pharmaceutical painkiller, from Florida to Connecticut for illegal sales.
Fein said the ring transported thousands of Oxycodone pills a week. It was busted by Operation Blue Coast, a law enforcement sting operation headed by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force in Bridgeport.
The pills that were purchased in Florida for $5 each ultimately were sold on the street in Connecticut for up to $30 each, Fein said.
Officers from the Connecticut State Police, and the Bridgeport, Milford, Norwalk, Stamford, Greenwich, Monroe, Danbury, Waterbury and Westport police departments, DEA officers in Florida and Connecticut, the Westchester County Department of Public Safety, Florida Highway Patrol, U.S. Marshals Service and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General participated in the investigation.
In all, twenty individuals, including three Transportation Security Administration officers, former Florida state trooper Kolves and a Westchester County police officer were charged as a result of Operation Blue Coast.
Fein said Kolves’ lengthy prison sentence “is appropriate for a sworn law enforcement officer who moonlighted as a body guard for a known drug dealer and who assisted in the illegal transport and sale of highly addictive Oxycodone pills.”
He continued, “This prosecution should serve as a clear warning to those few law enforcement officers who disgrace their badges and violate the public’s trust that you will ultimately be caught and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”