News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 7, 2006

Former Owner Of Crack House Sentenced To Prison

Springfield, MA... A Springfield man was sentenced late yesterday in federal court for illegal drug distribution and firearms charges.

June Stansbury, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in New England and United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan , announced that JOSE MERCED, age 31, of Springfield, Massachusetts, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Michael A. Ponsor to fifteen years’ imprisonment, to be followed by five years of supervised release. On May 7, 2004, MERCED pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, cocaine base and heroin, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, cocaine base and heroin and use of a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime

At the earlier plea hearing, a prosecutor told the Court that, had the case proceeded to trial, the Government’s evidence would have proven that MERCED owned and operated a crack house located at 149 Cedar Street in Springfield where over 1.5 kilos of crack were distributed over a six month period. Evidence was primarily obtained from court authorized wiretaps. Intercepted conversations from MERCED’s telephone confirmed that MERCED owned the house located at 149 Cedar Street for the sole purpose of distributing crack cocaine and referred to 149 Cedar Street as “my crack house.”

The case was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Task Force in Springfield, and the Springfield Police Department.