Dominican Fugitive Who Supplied Heroin to Baltimore Drug Dealers Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Prison

November 4, 2008

Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge William M. Nickerson sentenced Julio Cabrera-Mena, age 45, of the Dominican Republic, today to 10 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute heroin, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. Cabrera-Mena is expected to be deported after serving his federal sentence. As one of the special conditions of his supervised release, the Court ordered Cabrera-Mena not to return to the United States prior to completing the five years of supervised release.

According to his guilty plea, between 1997 and 1998 Cabrera-Mena, Juan Melendez and others transported more than 10 kilograms of heroin from New York City to stash houses in Baltimore, where the drugs were stored and packaged. The drugs were exchanged for cash from waiting dealers, including James Winkler (a/k/a “Wink”) and Lafayette McKoy (a/k/a “L.A.”). From June to November 1998, at the direction of law enforcement, a cooperating witness participated in several drug deals involving Winkler, Melendez and Cabrera-Mena, paying $7,000 for over 223 grams of heroin. On December 15, 1998, the witness gave Melendez $2,500 as payment for heroin the witness had ordered from Cabrera-Mena, who had returned to the Dominican Republic.

Cabrera-Mena was originally indicted on November 18, 1999, but remained a fugitive until his arrest in New York on November 6, 2006. Lafayette McKoy, age 52, of Baltimore, was convicted at trial and sentenced to 20 years in prison. Juan Melendez, of Bronx, New York, pleaded guilty to his role in the conspiracy and was sentenced to 70 months in prison. James Winkler, age 60, of Woodlawn, died before trial.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Baltimore County Police Department for their investigative work, and commended Assistant United States Attorneys Martin J. Clarke and Charles J. Peters, who prosecuted the case.



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