Hartford Firefighter Charged With Running Drug Factory

By Stephania Jimenez
|  Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012  |  Updated 10:23 AM EDT
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Hartford police raided Rafael Diaz's Douglas Street home seizing a variety of illegal narcotics as well as money and a gun.  Sources tell NBC Connecticut that Diaz is a firefighter at engine 8 on Park street.

Hartford police raided Rafael Diaz's Douglas Street home seizing a variety of illegal narcotics as well as money and a gun. Sources tell NBC Connecticut that Diaz is a firefighter at engine 8 on Park street.

A Hartford firefighter is suspected of being on the wrong side of the law, after police raided his home and found drugs.

Hartford police arrested Rafael Diaz, 37, of Hartford, at 6 p.m. on Thursday.

Sources tell NBC Connecticut Rafael Diaz is a firefighter at Engine 8 on Park St. However, according to investigators, Diaz also had a side job, running a drug factory.

Police raided the 37-year-old’s Douglas St. home, where they said they found cocaine, marijuana, hallucinogenic mushrooms, and ecstasy pills, along with $1,800 in cash and a gun.

Diaz faces a number of charges.

“It is a shocker that it was a firefighter, you really wouldn't expect that,” said Cassandra Encarnacion.

Encarnacion said she was walking by Diaz’s home, while the raid was underway.

“I was a little bit shocked, because I heard the big boom…and a lot of people came outside,” said Encarnacion.

Some residents in the neighborhood claiming to know Diaz wouldn’t talk to us on camera, but said they’re shocked by the allegations. However, others in the area who don’t know Diaz said they’re not surprised to learn of this sort of activity.

“They do this all the time. There's drug raids all over,” said Juan Rivera.

Diaz has been charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of hallucinogenic, possession with intent to sell, operating a drug factory and controlled substance within 1,500 feet of a school.

"As the investigation is on-going there will be no further comment by the department until such time as the investigation is completed," Chief James Rovella said in a news release.

Diaz has been a Hartford firefighter for 14 years. He’s now on paid administrative leave.

He will remain on administrative leave pending the results of an internal departmental investigation," said Chief Casares.

His case has been continued to Oct. 3.

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