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Press Release

Worcester Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Role in Multi-Kilogram Cocaine Conspiracy

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

BOSTON – A Worcester man was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Worcester for his role in a cocaine trafficking ring responsible for smuggling over 20 kilograms of cocaine into central Massachusetts. 

Jose Gonzalez, 38, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Timothy S. Hillman to 10 years in prison and five years of supervised release. Gonzalez previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute in excess of five kilograms of cocaine and possession with the intent to distribute over 500 grams of cocaine.    

An investigation conducted in connection with federal wiretaps revealed, among other things, that in December 2017, Gonzalez had been the intended recipient of a package mailed from Puerto Rico containing three kilograms of cocaine. 

In January 2018, wiretaps and surveillance revealed Gonzalez’s participation in the attempted smuggling of an additional six kilograms of cocaine from Puerto Rico, this time using a U.S. Postal employee to retrieve the packages of cocaine. As the scheme unfolded, agents seized one of the packages (found to contain three kilograms of cocaine) and allowed the second to be delivered to the conspiracy members under continuing electronic and physical surveillance. After observing the postal employee deliver the suspect package to a member of the conspiracy, authorities arrested several additional co-defendants. The second package was seized, and was found to contain another three kilograms of cocaine.  Over $40,000 in cash and drug ledgers documenting the sale of well over 20 kilograms of cocaine were also seized during a search.

Gonzalez is the first of four defendants charged federally to be sentenced as a result of the investigation. Co-defendant Japhet Garcia is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 1, 2019, co-defendant Erick Cruz is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 8, 2019, and co-defendant Deibby Garcia is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 1, 2019. Another alleged member of the conspiracy, Caroline Cartagena, faces state charges. All of the defendants resided in Worcester. 

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Boston Field Division; Joseph Cronin, Inspector in Charge of the United States Postal Inspection Service; Colonel Kerry A. Gilpin, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Worcester Police Chief Steven M. Sargent; and Leicester Interim Police Chief Kenneth Antanavica made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Grady of Lelling’s Public Corruption Unit is prosecuting the case.

Updated September 25, 2019

Drug Trafficking