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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Wisconsin

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Madison Man Sentenced For Distributing Cocaine

Madison, Wis. - John W. Vaudreuil, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Joe Angel Cruz, 32, of Madison, Wis., was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Barbara B. Crabb to twelve and a half years in prison and to three years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute cocaine. Cruz pleaded guilty to this charge on November 16, 2012.

Authorities learned that Cruz was dealing cocaine in the Madison area and utilized a confidential informant to make a number of recorded purchases. At one point, Cruz was jailed on state charges and continued to arrange drug deals over the jail phone and with the assistance of his girlfriend. On a number of transactions, the drug deals were conducted in the presence of the young children of Cruz's girlfriend.

The judge held Cruz accountable for a total of 163.15 grams of cocaine distributed over the course of the conspiracy. Cruz has a number of prior convictions, including felonies for drug dealing and violent conduct, resulting in a finding that Cruz was a career offender. The career offender finding resulted in a much higher advisory sentence in federal sentencing guidelines. While the guidelines are only advisory, Judge Crabb elected to sentence Cruz within the guidelines, noting his violent past and prior drug dealing.

The charges against Cruz were the result of an investigation conducted by the Dane County Narcotics and Gang Task Force and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The prosecution of the case has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Burke.

Updated July 14, 2015