News Release
March 9, 2006

Springfield Man Sentenced for Drug Distribution Conspiracy

MAR 9 -- Springfield, MA... A Springfield man was sentenced today in federal court for his role in a large-scale conspiracy to distribute cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin.

June W. Stansbury, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in New England, United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan and announced today that CARLOS ORLANDO MORALES, age 22, of Cambridge Street in Springfield, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Michael A. Ponsor to a sentence of 57 months in prison followed by 5 years of supervised release. MORALES pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, cocaine base and heroin on May 12, 2004.

At the earlier plea hearing, the prosecutor told the Court that, had the case proceeded to trial, the evidence would have proven that between the summer of 2002 and February, 2003, MORALES engaged in a conspiracy to distribute more than 1.5 kilograms of crack cocaine primarily by helping to supply co-defendant Jose Merced with kilogram quantities of cocaine that Merced later distributed, in part, through a crack house at 147-149 Cedar Street in Springfield that he owned and operated. According to the prosecutor, MORALES also purchased 40 grams of heroin from Merced in December of 2002, which he intended to redistribute but was stopped first by the Springfield Police.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and members of its Drug Task Force. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas J. O'Connor, Jr., and former Assistant U.S. Attorney Ariane D. Vuono, in Sullivan’s Springfield Office.