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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Connecticut Man Pleads Guilty to Distributing Cocaine in Virginia

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Connecticut man pleaded guilty today to bringing more than a kilogram of cocaine into Virginia for local redistribution.

According to court documents, Jowie Ortiz Vazquez, 34, of Stamford, was the cocaine supplier for Derek Norman, a dealer in Woodbridge. Starting in and around early 2019, Ortiz Vazquez traveled from Connecticut to Virginia every three to four weeks to sell cocaine to Norman and other customers. In May, Ortiz Vazquez traveled to Norman’s residence for the purpose of conducting a 600-gram cocaine deal. After he was observed entering and then leaving Norman’s residence, law enforcement stopped Ortiz Vazquez’s vehicle and found him in possession of approximately one kilogram of cocaine, a money-counting machine, and over $23,000 in cash.

Ortiz Vazquez pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute, and possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine. He faces a mandatory minimum of five years in prison, and a maximum of 40 years when sentenced on Jan. 24, 2020. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Ashan M. Benedict, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF’s Washington Field Division; and Barry M. Barnard, Chief of Prince William County Police, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Trenga accepted the plea. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Katherine E. Rumbaugh and Bibeane Metsch are prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:19-cr-311.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Contact: 
Joshua Stueve Director of Public Affairs joshua.stueve@usdoj.gov
Updated October 30, 2019