3 Central Florida men plead guilty in drug trafficking conspiracy

13 initially charged in August, feds say

Guns, weapons and ammunition, most of which were confiscated by law enforcement in August. (U.S. Department of Justice)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Three Central Florida men have pleaded guilty to their respective roles in a drug trafficking ring, busted in a multi-agency operation dubbed “Titan Fall,” according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Carlos Alberto Roman, 56, of Orlando, was named alongside Kenneth Angel Vera, 31, of Orlando, and 37-year-old James Richard Howell of Silver Springs. All had pleaded guilty, according to the DOJ.

A fourth coconspirator — identified as Joely Manuel Burgos, 39, of Orlando — was still headed to trial.

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According to a news release, those four men, along with nine others, were charged on Aug. 9 in two indictments stemming from “Titan Fall.” In a four-person indictment that included Roman, Vera, Burgos and Howell, all faced charges of conspiracy to distribute fentanyl and cocaine, the release said.

In a plea agreement, Roman admitted to supplying cocaine and fentanyl to Vera, Burgos and Howell for resale. Roman was arrested at his home, where law enforcement found 19 firearms, six silencers, three flash-bang grenades and thousands of rounds of ammunition, the news release states.

Roman pleaded guilty to possession of controlled substances and possessing a firearm equipped with a silencer in furtherance of drug trafficking. The DOJ added a superseding indictment Aug. 31 had charged Roman with six counts of drug possession, unlawful possession of firearms, ammunition, and explosive grenades by a convicted felon, and unlawful possession of a short-barreled rifle, pistols with vertical foregrips, and silencers.

Howell and Vera pleaded guilty on Monday and Tuesday, respectively, the release stated.

Roman faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 years to life in federal prison, the release stated.

Burgos is scheduled to go on trial Jan. 17, 2023.

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About the Author:

Brandon, a UCF grad, joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021. Before joining News 6, Brandon worked at WDBO.