Bridgeport Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Narcotics Charge
Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration in New England and Kevin J. O'Connor, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that CARLOS CRUZ, age 34, of 94 Elmwood Avenue, Bridgeport, Connecticut, pleaded guilty today to a one-count Information charging him with possession of more than 500 grams of cocaine with the intent to distribute. CRUZ's plea of guilty was accepted by United States District Judge Mark R. Kravitz in New Haven federal court.
According to documents filed with the Court and to statements made in court, on March 27, 2004, CRUZ was arrested by members of the Bridgeport Police Department's Tactical Narcotics Team after being found in possession of a large quantity of cocaine. CRUZ today admitted that he had stored more than 450 grams of cocaine at his parents' variety store, the MLC Market located at 1377 Stratford Avenue in Bridgeport. He also admitted to having possessed two different baggies, each containing approximately 60 grams of cocaine, on his person and in his 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche.
As part of his guilty plea, CRUZ agreed to forfeit items that were either used to facilitate, or were proceeds of, his drug dealing activity. Specifically, he agreed to forfeit five handguns, three luxury cars with a collective value of $145,000, more than $130,000 in cash found in his 94 Elmwood Avenue residence, $7900 worth of car tires and chrome wheels and more than $8,000 in assorted jewelry.
CRUZ faces a maximum term of forty years of incarceration, a mandatory minimum term of five years, and a fine of up to $2,000,000 when he is sentenced by Judge Kravitz on January 21, 2005.
This case was investigated by members of the Bridgeport Police Department's Tactical Narcotics Team, who worked together with the Bridgeport DEA office, the Bridgeport State's Attorney's Office and the Project Safe Neighborhoods ATF Task Force. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert M. Spector.
The Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative is aimed at reducing gun violence, deterring illegal possession of guns, and improving the safety of residents in Bridgeport and all of Connecticut's cities. Participants in the initiative include community members and organizations as well as federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.