FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
THURSDAY - February 3, 2011
COURT SENTENCES MEMBER OF
METHAMPHETAMINE AND COCAINE RING
WILMINGTON - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court on February 1, 2011, Senior District Judge James C. Fox sentenced JOSE JOAN CRUZ-SANTANDER, 28, a citizen of Mexico, to 180 months imprisonment followed by five years supervised release.
On September 24, 2009, a Federal Grand Jury returned a Criminal Indictment. On July 19, 2010, CRUZ-SANTANDER pled guilty to conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.
On April 20, 2009, a controlled purchase was arranged with CRUZ-SANTANDER and others in Clayton, North Carolina, of five kilograms of cocaine. On May 2, 2009, CRUZ-SANTANDER and several individuals obtained approximately five kilograms of cocaine and meeting arrangements were made. CRUZ-SANTANDER presented the cocaine. An agreement was reached that the money would be obtained for the cocaine and another meeting location was agreed upon. Law enforcement officers arrested CRUZ-SANTANDER in a vehicle shortly after they left the meeting location. A search of the car revealed a 9mm pistol with the hammer pulled back under the front passenger seat and approximately five kilograms of cocaine. The vehicle had a hidden compartment which could be used to conceal cocaine.
The case was part of the OCDETF operation “Broken Glass” which involved a Title III wire intercept and involves the prosecution of distributors of methamphetamine and cocaine.
Investigation of this case was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration; the Bureau Of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations; the North Carolina States Bureau of Investigations; the Sampson and Duplin County Sheriff’s Offices; and the Wilmington Police Department. Special Assistant United States Attorney Timothy Severo and Assistant United States Attorney Brian Meyers represented the government.Mr. Severo is a prosecutor with the New Hanover District Attorney’s Office. District Attorney Ben David has assigned him to the United States Attorney’s Office to prosecute federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force criminal matters. This has been made possible by a grant funded by the Governor’s Crime Commission and the New Hanover County Commissioners.
News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.