U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
November 20, 2009
Pair admit receiving cocaine packages
mailed from Puerto Rico
Dimas Liranzo and Jeanette Hernandez-Javier, both of Providence, have pleaded guilty to cocaine trafficking charges, admitting that they received packages of cocaine that had been mailed from Puerto Rico. The package sent to Liranzo contained a kilogram of cocaine and the one sent to Hernandez-Javier, evidently from the same source, contained two kilograms.
United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha announced the guilty pleas, which the defendants entered during separate hearings before U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith in U.S. District Court, Providence: Liranzo on November 16, and Hernandez-Javier today.
At the plea hearings, Assistant U.S. Attorney Gerard B. Sullivan said the government could prove that Postal Inspectors in San Juan, Puerto Rico alerted inspectors in Providence in August to suspicious packages originating in San Juan, addressed to individuals in Providence. The San Juan Postal Inspectors had noticed that the packages resembled others mailed from San Juan that contained narcotics.
Postal Inspectors in Providence intercepted the packages and a Rhode Island State Police narcotics detection dog signaled the presence of narcotics in them. A court-authorized search of the packages determined that one contained a kilogram of cocaine and the other two kilograms.
Postal Inspectors arranged for simultaneous controlled deliveries of the packages on August 6, one to an address on Burnside Avenue, and the other to an address on Carlton Street. Agents for the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force monitored each delivery. At Burnside Avenue, a man took delivery of the package and was detained after he’d signed for it.
A woman, later identified as Hernandez-Javier, signed for the other package outside the Carlton Street address and was arrested. Both recipients initially gave agents false names and the addressees on the packages were also fictitious names. Liranzo subsequently told agents that his cousin had told him to wait for the package and that he would be paid $1,000 for taking delivery. Hernandez-Javier admitted waiting for delivery of the package sent to Carlton Street but initially denied knowing its contents.
Both defendants pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess and possessing with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine. They are detained in federal custody pending sentencing. Liranzo, 20, is scheduled to be sentenced on February 26, and Hernandez-Javier, also 20, on May 7. The statutory maximum penalty for each offense is 40 years in prison and a $2,000,000 fine.
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the federally funded HIDTA Task Force investigated the case.