Boston Man Pleads Guilty to Obtaining Cocaine Via U.S. Mail and to Assaulting Federal Officers
BOSTON – A Boston man pleaded guilty in federal court in Boston yesterday to charges of drug possession and assaulting federal law enforcement officers in connection with his role in obtaining cocaine from Puerto Rico through the U.S. mail.
Pablo Santiago-Cruz, 47, pleaded guilty to conspiring to possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, and assaulting federal officers. U.S. Senior District Court Judge George A. O’Toole Jr. scheduled sentencing for Dec. 17, 2018.
According to court records, Santiago-Cruz participated in a conspiracy to obtain cocaine from Puerto Rico via the United States mail from at least March 2016 through July 2016. As part of the investigation, agents identified more than 30 suspicious parcels that were sent from Puerto Rico to individuals known to be associated with Santiago-Cruz. These parcels were delivered to co-conspirators at residences in Quincy and Framingham and to commercial mail receiving facilities in Canton and Randolph.
On July 18, 2018, law enforcement stopped a vehicle driven by co-conspirator Carlos Reyes and seized a kilogram of cocaine that was hidden inside a toy oven that was in the trunk of Reyes’ vehicle. The next day, agents executed a search warrant at Santiago-Cruz’s apartment in Roslindale. Upon hearing the agents knock and announce their presence, Santiago-Cruz grabbed a silver bowl with cocaine from under the kitchen sink and then attempted to flush approximately 93 grams of cocaine down the toilet, meanwhile ignoring repeated orders from the officers to stop. When the agents entered the apartment and attempted to subdue Santiago-Cruz, he physically resisted and struck several of the officers, resulting in physical injuries to the officers.
Reyes pleaded not guilty; his trial is scheduled to begin Sept. 24, 2018.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Raymond Moss, Acting Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; Peter C. Fitzhugh, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; Colonel Kerry Gilpin, Superintendent, Massachusetts State Police; Norfolk County District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey; and Stoughton Police Chief Donna McNamara made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys James E. Arnold and Craig E. Estes of Lelling’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit are prosecuting the case.
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