Roxbury Man Pleads Guilty to Drug Conspiracy Charge
Boston, MA... A Roxbury man was convicted yesterday in federal court of conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute.
Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge of the U. S. Drug Enforcement Administration in New England and United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan, announced that ATAGRACIO PEREZ, a/ k/ a “Felito,” age 50, formerly residing at 58 Brunswick Street in the Roxbury section of Boston, pleaded guilty before U. S. District Judge Patti B. Saris to an indictment charging him with participating in a conspiracy to possess 35 kilograms of cocaine with intent to distribute. The guilty plea occurred minutes before the scheduled start of PEREZ’s jury trial in federal court.
At yesterday’s plea hearing, the prosecutor told the Court that, had the case proceeded to trial, the Government’s evidence would have proven that beginning in April 2003 and extending into June 2003, a co- defendant named Luis Tejada- Pena, formerly residing in the Jamaica Plain section of Boston, negotiated extensively with a DEA undercover agent and a cooperating witness to purchase 35 kilograms of cocaine. The negotiations occurred over the telephone and at face- to- face meetings in hotels in Boston and Foxborough. The negotiations also included codefendants Elizabeth Pena (Tejada- Pena’s girlfriend) and Miosotis Troncoso (Tejada- Pena’s adult daughter). Tejada- Pena was in regular communication with PEREZ, whose role in the conspiracy was to put together the hundreds of thousands of dollars required to purchase the cocaine, which was intended to be distributed in the Boston area.
On June 17, 2003, the defendants met with the DEA undercover agent at a Sheraton Hotel in Braintree across from the South Shore Plaza. After conducting extensive negotiations with the undercover agent, PEREZ and Tejada- Pena authorized the delivery of a portion of the money to the hotel parking lot. Another defendant named Giovanni Arboleda then arrived in the hotel parking lot in a Chevrolet Tahoe. Suspecting police involvement, however, Arboleda drove rapidly away from the hotel. The Chevrolet Tahoe was stopped by the Massachusetts State Police on Route 93 heading into Boston. The police recovered from the vehicle a duffel bag containing $200,000 in cash which was a portion of the total purchase price and which was subsequently forfeited to the government. The police also located a secret compartment under the rear cargo area capable of holding large quantities of drugs. Arboleda was then placed under arrest.
PEREZ, Tejada- Pena, and Elizabeth Pena were arrested in the hotel parking lot while Miositis Troncoso subsequently turned herself in to federal authorities.
Tejada- Pena pleaded guilty on March 22, 2004 while Elizabeth Pena and Miosotis Troncoso pleaded guilty on March 19, 2004. All three defendants will be sentenced by Judge Saris in June, 2004. Giovanni Arboleda failed to appear in court for his change of plea hearing and a warrant for his arrest is outstanding.
Judge Saris scheduled PEREZ’s sentencing for June 18, 2004. PEREZ faces up to 20 years' imprisonment, to be followed by 5 years of supervised release, and a $4 million fine.
The case was investigated by the U. S. Drug Enforcement Administration in cooperation with the Massachusetts State Police and the Waltham Police Department.