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Press Release

Wilmington Man Sentenced to Over 3 Years in Federal Prison for Heroin Smuggling

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

WILMINGTON, Del. – United States Attorney David C. Weiss announced that Jose E. Mateo-Nina, 33, of Wilmington, Delaware, was sentenced to 37 months in federal prison today.  Mateo-Nina previously pled guilty to possessing over 500 grams of heroin with the intent to distribute.  Or, as the Honorable Maryellen Noreika summarized, “You helped to import a lot of heroin—which is a deadly drug.”

According to court documents, on May 1, 2020, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers identified a parcel being sent from Mexico to Wilmington, Delaware.  The parcel contained a wheelchair.  A search warrant was obtained for the parcel, and over 600 grams of heroin were discovered in the tires of that wheelchair.  Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Agents arrest the Defendant with the parcel after it was delivered.

U.S. Attorney Weiss commented, “During the pandemic, law enforcement officers have seized increasing quantities of illegal drugs transported via the U.S. Postal Service.  My office will continue to work with HSI, CBP and other state and federal investigative agencies to disrupt drug trafficking and hold those involved responsible for their actions.”

“Homeland Security Investigations is fully committed to disrupting and dismantling networks engaged in the trafficking of illicit drugs.” said Brian L. Jones, Resident Agent in Charge for Homeland Security Investigations Delaware. “Cases like this are only possible because of the hard work and dedication of our agents, officers and law enforcement partners assigned to the First State Border Enforcement Security Taskforce. 

This case was investigated by the HSI Border Enforcement Security Taskforce, which is comprised of agents and task force officers from the Elsmere Police Department, Newport Police Department, Delaware State Police, Army National Guard and United States Postal Inspection Service.  HSI was also assisted by the New Castle County Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher L. de Barrena-Sarobe prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Delaware. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the District of Delaware or on PACER by searching for Case No. 01:20-cr-60.

Updated June 28, 2021

Drug Trafficking