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Press Release

Two New York Men Charged with Fentanyl Trafficking

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

BOSTON – Two New York City men were arrested on Monday, Oct. 21, 2019, and charged with drug trafficking in federal court in Boston.

James De La Cruz, 28, and Juan Santos Roque, 46, were charged with conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute more than 400 grams of fentanyl. The defendants were arrested in Peabody, Mass., and remain in federal custody pending a detention hearing.

It is alleged that De La Cruz spoke with a cooperating witness several times in September and October 2019, and met with the cooperating witness to arrange a large drug shipment from New York to the Boston area. On Oct. 21, 2019, De La Cruz and Santos Roque drove from New York to Peabody, Mass. with approximately 10 kilograms of suspected fentanyl and six kilograms of suspected heroin in a hidden compartment in Santos Roque’s vehicle. After meeting with the cooperating witness, law enforcement agents arrested both men.

The charge of conspiracy to distribute more than 400 grams of fentanyl carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and up to life in prison, at least five years of supervised release and a maximum fine of $10 million. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and Jason Molina, Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston, made the announcement today. Valuable assistance was provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Field Division; the Massachusetts State Police; the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office; and the Dartmouth and Peabody Police Departments. Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen W. Hassink of Lelling’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit is prosecuting the case.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated October 23, 2019

Drug Trafficking