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Press Release

MS-13 Member Sentenced To Ten Years In Prison For Orchestrating, From Inside A California Prison, The Trafficking Of Drugs To New Jersey

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

NEWARK, N.J. – A member of MS-13 was sentenced to ten years in prison for orchestrating, from inside a California state prison, the trafficking of methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine to New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Luis Calderon, 32, a/k/a “Lagrima,” of Los Angeles, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph A. Dickson in Newark federal court to an indictment charging him with conspiracy to distribute, and to possess with intent to distribute, methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine.  Sentence was imposed today by U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares.

According to the documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Between August 2015 and November 2015, Calderon was incarcerated at the Calipatria State Prison in California. However, Calderon had access to multiple contraband cellular telephones, which he used to communicate with conspirators outside the prison.

Law enforcement officers lawfully recorded numerous telephone conversations between Calderon and an MS-13 member based in New Jersey, identified in the indictment as “Individual-1.” Among other topics, Calderon and Individual-1 discussed plans to distribute crystal methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine in the New Jersey area. Calderon and Individual-1 ultimately settled on that plan that involved Calderon and others outside the prison sending a package containing controlled substances to a business center in Edison, New Jersey.

Shortly before the package arrived, Calderon informed Individual-1 by telephone that he was sending Individual-1 a package containing four ounces each of heroin and cocaine. Calderon stated that the package would also likely contain two ounces or more of crystal methamphetamine. Calderon told Individual-1 that the total cost for the heroin, cocaine, and crystal methamphetamine was $9,000, and stated that Individual-1 could keep the proceeds made from selling the drugs once Individual-1 paid Calderon for the shipment. Calderon subsequently gave Individual-1 the names that would appear on the package and the tracking number.

On Nov. 4, 2015, federal agents lawfully intercepted and searched the package. The search revealed approximately 95.5 grams of heroin, 54.7 grams of cocaine, and 52.4 grams of methamphetamine hidden inside a box of Little Debbie Swiss Rolls.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Linares sentenced Calderon to 5 years of supervised release.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Brian Michael, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing. He also thanked Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement Removal Operations (ERO), the Calipatria State Prison, the Plainfield Police Department, the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California for their assistance.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jamari Buxton of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division and James Donnelly, Chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Violent Crimes Unit.

Defense counsel: Stacy Ann Biancamano Esq., Chatham, New Jersey

Updated October 30, 2018

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 18-377