Manchester Man Sentenced For Attempt To Traffic Crack Cocaine
CONCORD, N.H. – Juan A. Pichardo Mendez, 35, of Manchester, New Hampshire, was sentenced to 37 months in prison for charges stemming from his 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 box shipped from the Dominican Republic to a residential address in Manchester. The box was intercepted by Customs and Border Protection Agents in Puerto Rico when it passed through a Federal Express terminal at an airport. The agents found packages concealed in the flaps of the box that contained crack cocaine.
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. A man who lived at the premises accepted the delivery. At that point, other Homeland Security agents interviewed the man. He admitted accepting the box for Pichardo Mendez, who was waiting to hear when the box arrived. In the agents’ presence, the man 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.
On May 20, 2015, a federal grand jury indicted Pichardo Mendez for attempted possession of crack cocaine with the intent to distribute and unlawful use of a communication facility for tracking the box over the internet. Pichardo Mendez pleaded guilty to both charges on March 16, 2016.
This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Debra M. Walsh and Mark S. Zuckerman.