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Press Release

Manchester Man Pleads Guilty To Attempted Possession With Intent To Distribute Crack

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

CONCORD, N.H. – Juan A. Pichardo Mendez, 35, of Manchester, New Hampshire, pleaded guilty in United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire to attempted possession of crack cocaine with the intent to distribute, reports United States Attorney Emily Gray Rice.

            On August 1, 2014, Pichardo Mendez attempted to take possession of a package shipped from the Dominican Republic that had crack cocaine concealed in the flaps of the box. The box had been intercepted by Customs and Border Protection Agents in Puerto Rico when it passed through a Federal Express terminal at an airport. It was addressed to a fictitious person at a residential address in Manchester.

            The Customs and Border Protection Agents sent the box on to Homeland Security Investigation agents in Manchester. On August 1, 2014, a Homeland Security Special Agent posing as a Federal Express employee delivered the box to the Manchester address, where it was accepted by a third party who lived at the premises. At that point, other Homeland Security agents interviewed the person who accepted the box. He admitted accepting the box for Pichardo Mendez, who was waiting to hear when the box arrived. In the agents’ presence, he sent a message to Pichardo Mendez that the box had arrived. Pichardo Mendez arrived at the premises shortly after he received the message, but before he retrieved the package he learned investigators were there and he left the area. Further investigation revealed evidence indicating that Pichardo Mendez had tracked the package from the time it was shipped from the Dominican Republic.   

            The statutory maximum sentence for the charges in this case is 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $1,000,000.  The court will sentence Pichardo Mendez after it has had the opportunity to review a presentence investigation report prepared by the United States Probation & Pretrial Services Office.  The court ordered that Pichardo Mendez be detained pending a sentencing hearing on June 29, 2016.

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Debra M. Walsh and Mark S. Zuckerman.

Updated March 16, 2016