Meriden man gets nearly 8 years for selling drugs out of New Haven store

A Meriden man was sentenced to 95 months in prison Tuesday after selling cocaine out of his New Haven business, according to federal prosecutors.

A Meriden man was sentenced to 95 months in prison Tuesday after selling cocaine out of his New Haven business, according to federal prosecutors.

Ned Gerard / Hearst Connecticut Media

NEW HAVEN — A Meriden man was sentenced to nearly eight years in prison Tuesday after selling cocaine out of his New Haven business, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for Connecticut.

Kervin Diaz, 39, was sentenced to 95 months in prison and four years of supervised release, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Diaz came to the attention of law enforcement after he sold 750 grams of cocaine to Harvey Lapin, an East Haven man who "illegally distributed a variety of prescription and non-prescription drugs, including oxycodone, steroids and cocaine," the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Diaz "coordinated shipments of kilograms of cocaine from Puerto Rico," as well as New York, and "distributed the cocaine to New Haven-area drug sellers, including Lapan," the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Diaz and his girlfriend, Alba Nieves, sold cocaine and marijuana from his business, Nino’s Mini Market, on Washington Avenue in New Haven, the U.S. Attorney's Office said. They also sold the drugs out of Nieves' business, Middletown Café, on Middletown Avenue in New Haven, the prosecutors said.

When Diaz was arrested on Aug. 24, 2020, the U.S. Attorney's Office said searches of his home and Nieves' Meriden residence "revealed narcotics trafficking paraphernalia, including a large scale hydraulic press, an electronic money counter, and 10 digital scales, many of which that contained cocaine residue."

Authorities also seized a loaded high-capacity 9mm gun magazine and $5,130 in cash, prosecutors said.

Lapan and Nieves pleaded guilty to related charges, officials said.  Lapan awaits sentencing, while Nieves was sentenced in May to three years of probation.

Ben Lambert can be reached at william.lambert@hearstmediact.com