New Haven Cocaine Trafficker Pleads Guilty
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that JOSE L. GERENA, 33, of New Haven, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Jeffrey A. Meyer in New Haven to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine.
According to court documents and statements made in court, in November 2020, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s Narcotics and Bulk Cash Trafficking Task Force executed a federal search warrant on a suspicious package that had been sent through the U.S. Mail from New Haven to an address in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. The package contained $102,450 in cash. The investigation revealed that Gerena was the leader of an extensive drug trafficking organization and supervised the receipt of numerous parcels containing kilogram quantities of cocaine that had been shipped from Puerto Rico, the resale of the cocaine to others, and the shipment of narcotics proceeds to Puerto Rico. Gerena was responsible for trafficking more than 100 kilograms of cocaine.
During the investigation, the organization regularly received cocaine shipments at 365 Poplar Street, 206 Exchange Street and other addresses in New Haven. In August 2021, investigators intercepted two parcels, each containing a kilogram of cocaine, that had been sent through the U.S. Mail from Puerto Rico to 365 Poplar Street and 206 Exchange Street. Gerena was arrested on August 10, 2021, after investigators made a controlled delivery of a parcel containing a kilogram of cocaine to 365 Poplar Street.
Judge Meyer scheduled sentencing for March 20, 2023, at which time Gerena faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life.
Gerena has been detained since his arrest.
This matter is being investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s Narcotics and Bulk Cash Trafficking Task Force and the Drug Enforcement Administration, with the assistance of the New Haven Police Department. The Task Force includes members from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the U.S. Postal Service – Office of the Inspector General, the Connecticut Army National Guard, and the Hartford, New Britain, Meriden and Town of Groton Police Departments.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Konstantin Lantsman through the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Program. OCDETF identifies, disrupts and dismantles drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs and transnational criminal organizations through a prosecutor-led and intelligence-driven approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.