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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Connecticut

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Meriden Man Sentenced to More Than 5 Years in Federal Prison for Trafficking Cocaine

John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that JOEL CRUZ, 36, of Meriden, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant in Hartford to 63 months of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release, for trafficking cocaine.

According to court documents and statements made in court, on September 2, 2017, Cruz engaged Milford and Connecticut State Police in a high-speed chase from I-95 in Milford to I-91 in New Haven.  During the chase, Cruz threw a package containing approximately one kilogram of cocaine from his vehicle.  When he was apprehended in the area of Exit 5 on I-91, he possessed $34,360 in cash.

On August 30, 2018, Cruz pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine.

CRUZ has forfeited the cash seized at the time of his arrest.

CRUZ, who was released on bond, was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service at the conclusion of today’s court proceeding.

This matter was investigated by the FBI’s New Haven Safe Streets/Gang Task Force, Connecticut State Police and Milford Police Department.  The Task Force includes members from the New Haven Police Department, Milford Police Department, West Haven Police Department and Connecticut Department of Correction.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anthony E. Kaplan and Nathaniel J. Gentile.

Topic(s): 
Asset Forfeiture
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated February 27, 2019