UPS Employee Charged in Puerto Rico-Based Cocaine Distribution Scheme
BOSTON – A UPS employee was charged in U.S. District Court in Boston in connection with shipping cocaine from Puerto Rico to Massachusetts.
Jorge Carrasquillo-Ortiz, 41, of Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, was charged in a criminal complaint unsealed today with attempted possession with intent to distribute and attempted distribution of 500 grams or more of cocaine. On Aug. 11, 2016, Carrasquillo-Ortiz was arrested in Puerto Rico and was detained following an initial appearance in the District of Puerto Rico.
According to court documents, in March 2016, Carrasquillo-Ortiz was working at United Parcel Service (UPS) in Puerto Rico. On multiple occasions, Carrasquillo-Ortiz accepted large amounts of cash in exchange for arranging for boxes containing multiple kilograms of cocaine to bypass security and be loaded directly onto the plane to Massachusetts.
In June 2016, a cooperating witness made numerous recorded calls to Carrasquillo-Ortiz to arrange for the shipment of six kilograms of cocaine from Puerto Rico to Massachusetts. An undercover officer in Puerto Rico then provided Carrasquillo-Ortiz with a box that contained six kilograms of “sham” cocaine. Carrasquillo-Ortiz allegedly shipped this box to Massachusetts, where it was seized by investigators.
The charging statute provides for a sentence of no greater than 40 years in prison, a minimum of four years and no greater than a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of up to $5 million. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Shelly Binkowski, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; Michael J. Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Boston Field Division; Joel P. Garland, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston; and Colonel Richard D. McKeon, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, made the announcement today. This case was jointly investigated with the DEA’s Caribbean Division. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Rosen of Ortiz’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit.
The details contained in the criminal complaint are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.