Massachusetts Letter Carrier Sentenced for Role in Cocaine Conspiracy

BOSTON – A Worcester man was sentenced today in federal court in Worcester for his role in a cocaine trafficking ring responsible for smuggling over 20 kilograms of cocaine into central Massachusetts.

Erick Cruz, 29, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Timothy S. Hillman to 34 months in prison and three years of supervised release. Garcia previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute in excess of five kilograms of cocaine and possession with the intent to distribute over 500 grams of cocaine.

Garcia is the last of four defendants to be sentenced in this investigation. Jose Gonzalez was sentenced on Sept. 24, 2019, to 10 years in prison, Japhet Garcia was sentenced on Oct. 1, 2019, to 40 months in prison, and Deibby Garcia was sentenced on Nov. 7, 2019, to 120 months in prison.

In early December 2017, Japhet Garcia and co-conspirator Jose Gonzalez were captured on surveillance footage entering a Worcester Postal Facility and attempting to retrieve a package shipped from Puerto Rico that had been found to contain approximately three kilograms of cocaine.

Subsequent to those events, a court-authorized wiretap of a phone belonging to Deibby Garcia revealed discussions between Deibby Garcia and an unidentified individual concerning the delivery of two packages from Puerto Rico on Jan. 16, 2017. The intercepts further revealed that Deibby Garcia made arrangements with Erick Cruz, a U.S. Postal Service letter carrier, to have the packages picked up once they had arrived in Massachusetts.

During the course of communications between Jan. 9,2018, and Jan. 13, 2018, Cruz texted Deibby Garcia two addresses, both of which were on Cruz’s assigned route as a letter carrier. Deibby Garcia, in turn, forwarded the addresses to what authorities believed to be his cocaine source in Puerto Rico. On Jan. 12, 2018, two packages were sent from Puerto Rico to the addresses provided by Cruz and Deibby Garcia. On Jan. 15, 2018, one package was searched pursuant to a federal search warrant and was found to contain three kilograms of cocaine. The following day, federal agents permitted the second package to be provided to Cruz for delivery.

Agents thereafter intercepted discussions between Cruz and Deibby Garcia in which they discussed arrangements for Deibby Garcia to have the second package picked up, and speculated about what had happened to the package that had been seized and searched. Soon after, the men were arrested and the second package was recovered.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Boston Field Division; Joseph W. Cronin, Inspector in Charge of the United States Postal Inspection Service; Colonel Kerry A. Gilpin, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Worcester Police Chief Steven M. Sargent; and Leicester Interim Police Chief Kenneth Antanavica made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Grady of Lelling’s Criminal Division prosecuted the case.