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Press Release

Florida Man Pleads Guilty To Heroin Trafficking Conspiracy In Monroe-Wayne Counties Involving Three Of His Children

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

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that a man who was residing in Kissimme, Florida, at the time of his arrest in September 2014, pleaded guilty yesterday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Karoline Mehalchick in Scranton, to participating in a heroin and cocaine trafficking conspiracy in Monroe and Wayne Counties that involved utilizing three of his children to distribute the drugs to customers.

According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, the defendant, Carlos Ruben Cruz, age 48, who resided in Wayne and Monroe Counties in Pennsylvania throughout much of the drug conspiracy, admitted to conspiring with others, including three of his children, to distribute heroin and cocaine between 2011 and 2014.

Cruz was indicted by a federal grand jury sitting in Scranton in August 2014, as a result of an investigation by agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, investigators from the Pennsylvania State Police, the Wayne County District Attorney’s Office, and Pocono Mountain Regional Police. 

Three of Cruz’s children, Rubie Cruz, age 26, Tiffanyann Cruz, age 21, and Brandon Cruz, age 24, were also charged in the indictment and have previously pleaded guilty to participating in the drug conspiracy. They are all awaiting sentencing.

Carlos Ruben Cruz faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $1 million. He will be sentenced at a later date by Senior U.S. District Court Judge Richard P. Conaboy after the completion of a pre-sentence investigation. Cruz remains detained in custody pending sentencing.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Francis P. Sempa is prosecuting the case.

Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

The maximum penalty under federal law is 20 years in prison, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant's educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.


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Updated November 25, 2015

Drug Trafficking