New York Man Sentenced for Fentanyl and Heroin Trafficking

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BOSTON – A New York man was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Boston for heroin and fentanyl possession and distribution charges.

James De La Cruz, 30, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns to nine years in prison and three years of supervised release. On May 7, 2021, De La Cruz pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin and 400 grams or more of fentanyl and one count of possession with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin and 400 grams or more of fentanyl.

In September and October 2019, De La Cruz spoke with a cooperating witness several times and met with the cooperating witness to arrange a large drug shipment from New York to the Boston area. On Oct. 21, 2019, De La Cruz and his co-defendant Juan Santos Roque drove from New York to Peabody, Mass. with approximately 10 kilograms of fentanyl and six kilograms of heroin in a hidden compartment in Santos Roque’s vehicle. After meeting with the cooperating witness, law enforcement agents arrested both men.

Santos Roque pleaded guilty in October 2020 and was sentenced on May 12, 2021 to 63 months in prison and two years of supervised release.

Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell and Matthew B. Millhollin, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston made the announcement. Valuable assistance was provided by the Massachusetts State Police and the Peabody Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen W. Hassink of Mendell’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit prosecuted the case.


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