Four Charged with Trafficking Cocaine Through the U.S. Mail
U.S. Attorney Leonard C Boyle, Special Agent in Charge David Sundberg of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Ketty Larco-Ward, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Boston Division, today announced that a federal grand jury in New Haven has returned an indictment charging the following four individuals with cocaine trafficking offenses:
JEAN MANGUAL-CASTRO, 34, of West Haven
JASHON SPEARMAN, also known as “J ” and “Deuce,” 34, of New Haven
ENID CASTRO, 52, of West Haven
MARIA ALEJANDRA PEREZ TORRES, also known as “Alej” and “Alejandra Perez,” 21, of Villalba, Puerto Rico
As alleged in court documents and statements made in court, an investigation headed by the FBI’s New Haven Safe Streets/Gang Task Force and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s Narcotics and Bulk Cash Trafficking Task Force revealed that Mangual-Castro was orchestrating shipments of cocaine through the U.S. Mail from Puerto Rico. On December 20, 2021, after investigators identified that a suspicious package had been delivered to the West Haven residence of Enid Castro, who is Mangual-Castro’s mother, investigators conducted a court-authorized search of the residence and seized approximately two kilograms of cocaine, a Rolex watch, jewelry, and approximately $2,900 in cash. During the investigation, law enforcement also seized at another location approximately three kilograms of cocaine that had been mailed from Puerto Rico to Connecticut at Mangual-Castro’s direction.
It is further alleged that Perez Torres mailed packages containing cocaine to Connecticut, and that Spearman received and distributed cocaine that he had acquired from Mangual-Castro.
The indictment, which was returned on April 19, 2022, charges Mangual-Castro, Spearman, Castro and Perez Torres with conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute cocaine. If convicted of this offense, based on the quantity of cocaine attributable to each defendant, Mangual-Castro faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life, and Spearman, Castro and Perez Torres each faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years and a maximum term of imprisonment of 40 years. The indictment also charges Mangual-Castro, Castro and Perez Torres with one count of possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, which carries a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years and a maximum term of imprisonment of 40 years.
Mangual-Castro has been detained since his arrest on a federal criminal complaint on December 20, 2021. He is scheduled to be arraigned via videoconference this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge S. Dave Vatti.
Spearman has been detained since his arrest on February 4, 2022. He and seven others were subsequently charged with narcotics distribution offenses in a related case during which law enforcement seized approximately 19 kilograms of cocaine, more than 7,000 bags of fentanyl, and more than $780,000 in cash. He appeared today before U.S. District Judge Sarala V. Nagala in Hartford and pleaded not guilty to the new charges.
Enid Castro was arrested on April 22, 2022, and was released on a $50,000 bond pending trial.
Perez Torres was arrested in Puerto Rico on April 21, 2022, and is released on a $10,000 bond. She is scheduled to be arraigned in Hartford on May 10.
U.S. Attorney Boyle stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The FBI’s New Haven Safe Streets/Gang Task Force includes participants from the New Haven Police Department, Milford Police Department, East Haven Police Department, West Haven Police Department, Connecticut State Police and the Connecticut Department of Correction. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s Narcotics and Bulk Cash Trafficking Task Force includes members from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the U.S. Postal Service – Office of the Inspector General, the Connecticut Army National Guard, and the Hartford, New Britain, Meriden and Town of Groton Police Departments.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anthony E. Kaplan and Kenneth L. Gresham through the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Program. OCDETF identifies, disrupts and dismantles drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs and transnational criminal organizations through a prosecutor-led and intelligence-driven approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.