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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, November 30, 2018

New York Man Sentenced to Two Years' Federal Prison Time for Attempting to Sell 7 Kilograms of Fake Cocaine in Delaware

WILMINGTON, Del. – David C. Weiss, United States Attorney for the District of Delaware, announced that on November 29, 2018, Roger Mercedes, age 30, of the Bronx, New York, was sentenced to 24 months in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud stemming from a plan to sell seven (7) kilograms of fake cocaine in Delaware.

According to public documents and arguments in open court, Mercedes met someone he believed was a cocaine trafficker and hatched a plan to sell that cocaine trafficker fake cocaine for $137,500.  The cocaine trafficker turned out to be an informant working for the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”).  Mercedes met the informant in Florida and, over the course of the next several months, sold the informant a “sample” of cocaine in New Jersey.  As part of the negotiations surrounding a large cocaine transaction to take place in Delaware, Mercedes sent the informant a homemade video of what appeared to be twenty (20) kilogram bricks of cocaine in an apartment. 

Mercedes organized the entire transaction and conspired with three other men to drive down to Delaware and sell the fake cocaine.  On November 9, 2017, Mercedes and the three other men were arrested in Newark, Delaware.  A suitcase containing seven (7) fake kilogram bricks of cocaine was seized. 

U.S. Attorney Weiss said, “Drug transactions, real or fake, threaten the safety and security of our community.  Transactions designed to rip off would-be illegal drug purchasers are particularly dangerous.  These perpetrators must be held accountable.”

This case was investigated by the DEA and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander P. Ibrahim and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher de Barrena-Sarobe.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated November 30, 2018