U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
June 9, 2010
FEDERAL DRUG SENTENCE LANDS MASS. MAN IN FEDERAL PRISON; STERN WARNING TO OTHERS
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Heily Gonzalez, 32, of Milford, Massachusetts, was sentenced Tuesday to 41 months in federal prison and 4 years supervised release for conspiracy and possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute. The sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha, which was imposed by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Mary M. Lisi.
When imposing the sentence, U.S. District Court Chief Judge Lisi noted Gonzalez had been a law abiding citizen with a family and a job, then added, “If you are willing to do it, then we need to send a message to others like you that it will cost them dearly.”
U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha agreed saying, “I applaud Chief Judge Lisi’s comments, and hope they give others reason to stop and think before they involve themselves in criminal activity like this. No matter your background, your status, or reason for involving yourself, you will be held accountable.”
Had the matter gone to trial, the government would have presented evidence that Gonzalez conspired with others to have a package containing approximately 2 kilograms of cocaine sent to him from Puerto Rico. Gonzalez arranged to have the package sent to him at a Providence address. Gonzalez did not know the occupants of that apartment, but a co-defendant in this matter, Alejandro Santana, knew one of the women living there. A federal jury acquitted Santana guilty of the same charges.
On June 4, 2009, a Postal Inspector, acting in an undercover capacity, went to the apartment with the package addressed to Gonzalez. The defendant told the postal inspector that he was receiving the package for a friend of his, who was on his way over to pick it up. Gonzalez signed a receipt for the package, and wrote his address on the receipt form. As Gonzalez walked away from the Postal truck with the package, members of the surveillance team approached him and took him into custody.
Neither Santana nor Gonzalez lived at the apartment to which the package was addressed.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie S. Brown.
The matter was investigated by United States Postal Inspection Service and Rhode Island State Police High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force (HIDTA).