Man linked to French Connection heroin ring gets 9-year term


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A 75-year-old man who federal authorities say was a player in the notorious French Connection heroin ring decades ago has been sentenced to nine years in prison for running an illegal narcotics operation in Connecticut.

Danbury resident Alfred Catino was sentenced Thursday in federal court in New Haven.

He was among 16 people busted in Connecticut in 2012 for distributing marijuana, cocaine and oxycodone. He pleaded guilty to a drug conspiracy charge in 2014.

The French Connection was a major supplier of heroin to the United States in the 1960s and 1970s. It spawned an Oscar-winning 1971 film of the same name starring Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider.

Catino’s lawyer had sought the minimum mandatory five-year prison sentence, while prosecutors asked for a 10-year sentence.