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Press Release

New Haven Man Sentenced to 4 Years in Federal Prison for Role in Cocaine Trafficking Ring

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

Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that ANGEL CORREA-ORTIZ, 38, of New Haven, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Jeffrey A. Meyer in New Haven to 48 months of imprisonment, followed by four years of supervised release, for his involvement in a cocaine trafficking ring.

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 Jose L. Gerena, of New Haven, was supervising the receipt of numerous parcels containing kilogram quantities of cocaine that had been shipped from Puerto Rico to addresses in and around New Haven, the resale of the cocaine to others, and the shipment of narcotics proceeds to individuals in Puerto Rico.  During the investigation, law enforcement intercepted multiple parcels of cocaine and U.S. currency that was sent through the U.S. Mail.

Correa-Ortiz helped identify addresses for the organization to use to receive parcels, moved parcels once they were received, and he accompanied other members of the organization during drug transactions.

Most of the parcels containing cocaine were transported to a stash house on Exchange Street in New Haven that Gerena, Jose Rodriguez-Caraballo and others used as a hub to distribute wholesale quantities of cocaine.

Rodriguez-Caraballo, also known as “Puma,” was arrested on March 18, 2021, after he traveled with another co-conspirator to a location in Milford to sell two kilograms of cocaine for $86,000.  Investigators seized the cocaine and a loaded 9mm handgun from their vehicle.  Correa-Ortiz, who had traveled to the same location in another vehicle, was not arrested at that time.

Gerena was arrested on August 10, 2021, after investigators made a controlled delivery of a parcel containing a kilogram of cocaine to his New Haven residence.

Correa-Ortiz was arrested on September 30, 2021.  On August 26, 2022, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine.

Correa-Ortiz, who is released on a $100,000 bond, is required to report to prison on March 22.

Gerena and Rodriguez-Caraballo also pleaded guilty.  Gerena awaits sentencing.  On November 2, 2022, Rodriguez-Caraballo was sentenced to 12 years of imprisonment.

This matter is being 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 is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Konstantin Lantsman and Karen Peck 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 February 15, 2023

Asset Forfeiture
Drug Trafficking