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Press Release

New Haven Cocaine Trafficker Sentenced to 12 Years in Federal Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Connecticut

Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that on August 25, 2023, JOSE L. GERENA, 33, of New Haven, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jeffrey A. Meyer in New Haven to 144 months of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release, for trafficking cocaine through the U.S. Mail.  Gerena was also ordered to pay a $10,000 fine.

According to court documents and statements made in court, in November 2020, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s Narcotics and Bulk Cash Trafficking Task Force executed a federal search warrant on a suspicious package that had been sent through the U.S. Mail from New Haven to an address in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.  The package contained $102,450 in cash.  The investigation revealed that Gerena led an extensive drug trafficking organization and supervised the receipt of numerous parcels containing kilogram quantities of cocaine that had been shipped from Puerto Rico, the resale of the cocaine to others, and the shipment of narcotics proceeds to Puerto Rico.  Gerena was responsible for trafficking more than 100 kilograms of cocaine.

During the investigation, the organization regularly received cocaine shipments at various addresses in New Haven.  In August 2021, investigators intercepted two parcels, each containing a kilogram of cocaine, that had been sent through the U.S. Mail from Puerto Rico to addresses on Poplar Street and Exchange Street in New Haven.  Gerena was arrested on August 10, 2021, after investigators made a controlled delivery of a parcel containing a kilogram of cocaine to the Poplar Street address.

Gerena has been detained since his arrest.  On November 15, 2022, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine.

This matter was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s Narcotics and Bulk Cash Trafficking Task Force and the Drug Enforcement Administration, with the assistance of the New Haven Police Department.  The 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 was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Konstantin Lantsman 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

Updated August 28, 2023

Drug Trafficking