News Release
April 5, 2006

Cape Cod Man Sentenced to 35 Years' Imprisonment

APR 5-- Boston, MA... A Hyannis, MA, man was sentenced today in federal court for conspiring to distribute crack cocaine.

June W. Stansbury, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration in New England and United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan announced today that MANUEL MENDES, age 30, formerly of 110 LaFrance Avenue, Hyannis, MA, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Young today to 35 years’ imprisonment, to be followed by 10 years of supervised release. MENDES pled guilty to conspiracy to possess, with intent to distribute, cocaine base, also known as crack cocaine, on April 29, 2005.

The evidence at an earlier trial of MENDES’ co-defendants, Carmen Figueroa (“Figueroa”) and William Tejeda (“Tejeda”) and described by the prosecutor at the earlier plea hearings, showed that MENDES was serving an 8-10 year sentence for cocaine trafficking at the Plymouth House of Corrections. It was while he was incarcerated that he organized and directed a massive crack distribution ring in the Hyannis, MA area. He enlisted the assistance of Figueroa, co-defendant Christopher Custer, and others to obtain the crack from Tejeda, who located in New York, New York. He directed his base of operations from the prison phones, and utilized Figueroa to manage the drug proceeds and organize the drug ring. For over a year period, from January 2003, through the date of the arrests on March 16, 2005, the group obtained and distributed approximately 500 grams of crack cocaine in the Hyannis area every ten days. The evidence also would have showed that in the time frame of March 16, 2004, MENDES organized his last trip. Custer and co-defendant Jennifer Pavao traveled to New York, met with Tejeda, paid over $12,500 in cash, and picked up almost 500 grams of crack.

Co-defendants Custer, Tejeda and Desiree Alves were all convicted of the charges and were sentenced in March, 2006. Custer was sentenced to a 25 year period of incarceration, Tejeda was sentenced to a 20 year period of incarceration and Alves was sentenced to three years.

Carmen Figueroa, who was convicted after a twelve-day jury trial, and Jennifer Pavao, who pled guilty, are both awaiting sentencing, currently scheduled for May 1, 2006.

The case was investigated by the by members of the DEA’s Cape Cod Task Force along with the Barnstable, Yarmouth and Bourne Police Departments; the Massachusetts State Police; DEA - New York Division, and the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office. The DEA’s Cape Cod Task Force is led by the DEA and comprised of members from the Bourne, Dennis, Mashpee, Plymouth and Wareham Police Departments.