Share story

STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) — The former co-owner of a Mexican restaurant in Stamford who was involved in a cocaine trafficking operation has been sentenced to 3 ½ years in prison.

Miguel Lara, of Bridgeport, was sentenced Wednesday in federal court in Hartford. He pleaded guilty last year to possession with intent to distribute and distribution of 500 grams or more of cocaine.

Authorities say a Drug Enforcement Administration task force discovered Lara, co-owner of Cafe Luna, was supplying cocaine to Christian Paulino Rodriguez. Officials say Lara and Rodriguez were arrested after an informant bought 5 kilograms of cocaine from Rodriguez for $140,000.

Lara faces possible deportation to El Salvador when he’s released from prison.

Rodriguez also is serving a 3 ½-year prison sentence and faces possible deportation to the Dominican Republican.