A 35-year-old Ansonia man who once worked as a supervisor for the state’s Judicial Branch will not go to jail for playing a role in a steroids and prescription pill distribution ring.
Jeffrey Gentile was sentenced to three years of probation Thursday in federal court in Hartford after pleading guilty in October using a telephone to facilitate the distribution of amphetamine.
A judge also ordered Gentile to perform 150 hours of community service.
Gentile played a minor part in a criminal enterprise headed by Newtown Police Sgt. Steven Santucci, who conducted illicit business at least once inside the confines of the Newtown Police Department.
Santucci pleaded guilty to dealing steroids and money laundering in December 2015. He was sentenced to serve 16 months in prison last August.
The feds named their investigation into the steroid dealers “Operation Juice Box.” The sergeant’s helpers included a Newtown emergency dispatcher and area bodybuilders.
According to a statement from the Connecticut U.S. Attorney’s Office, Santucci had steroid ingredients shipped from China before “manufacturing and distributing wholesale quantities of steroids” in Connecticut.
“Certain members of the conspiracy also distributed prescription pills, including oxycodone, as well as cocaine,” the feds’ statement said.
According to court documents, Gentile arranged to buy steroids from another Valley man charged in the case, Ansonia’s Alex Kenyhercz, who would obtain them from Santucci.
Federal agents intercepted cell phone conversations between Gentile and Kenyhercz that they said showed Gentile arranging to trade Adderall in exchange for some of the steroids.
At the time, Gentile was working for the state’s Judicial Branch, as a juvenile detention shift supervisor in Bridgeport.
His salary was $67,724.54. He was fired the month after his arrest, after 11 years on the job.
Three other Valley residents were also charged in connection with the drug distribution ring.
In January 2016 Kenyhercz pleaded guilty in the case. He is awaiting sentencing.
Shelton’s Mark Bertanza was sentenced in February 2016 to perform 120 hours of community service and pay a $1,000 fine.
Derby’s Frank Pecora has been sentenced to 37 months behind bars.