Skip to main content
Press Release

Utica Man Pleads Guilty to Drug and Money Laundering Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York
Willie Alvarado Used the United States Postal Service to Acquire Cocaine from Puerto Rico

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Willie Alvarado, Jr., age 33, of Utica, New York, pled guilty yesterday to attempted possession with intent to distribute over 500 grams of cocaine, and money laundering.

United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman and Frank A. Tarentino III, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) New York Division made the announcement.

In pleading guilty, Alvarado admitted that, as early as October 2022, he began using the United States Postal Service to receive drug parcels from Puerto Rico.  In May of 2023, law enforcement intercepted a package shipped from Puerto Rico and intended for Alvarado which contained two kilograms of cocaine.  Alvarado intended to distribute the cocaine upon receipt of the package.  Alvarado further admitted that, in September of 2023, he used another individual to launder at least $9,940 of his drug proceeds in an attempt to hide the true source of that money.

At sentencing, Alvarado will face a mandatory minimum of 5 years and a maximum of 40 years in federal prison, a fine of up to $5,000,000, and a term of supervised release of at least 5 years and up to life.  A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), and United States Postal Inspection Service are investigating the case with assistance from the New York State Police, Utica Police Department, Oneida County Sheriff’s Office, Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office, Syracuse Police Department, U.S. Immigration and Customs and Enforcement, and Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica N. Carbone is prosecuting the case.

Updated May 30, 2024

Drug Trafficking