A Guyanese man was last Thursday sentenced to over eight years in jail for dealing drugs in the United States.
Augustine DeCruz, 59, who was living illegally in the US, was sentenced by US District Judge A Richard Caputo for possession with intent to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine and possessing and carrying a firearm during, in relation to, and in furtherance of possessing with intent to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine, the US Attorney’s Office said.
He received a sentence of 104 months in jail.
DeCruz, resided in Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, where in February 2011 members of the Pennsyl-vania State Police Vice and Narcotics Unit executed search warrants and seized approximately 85 grammes of powder cocaine, 77 grammes of crack cocaine, two handguns, a rifle, approximately US$2,500, a surveillance system, and a large amount of packaging material.
The US Attorney’s Office said that in addition to the items found during the search of DeCruz’s residence, police were able to make multiple controlled purchases of cocaine from him during transactions that occurred in Wilkes-Barre. A report from the local Times Leader newspaper said that state police found packaged bags of crack cocaine inside a flashlight and rolled-up socks. It added that one of the handguns was reportedly stolen from Dallas Township.
After his arrest by local authorities, DeCruz’s criminal case was adopted for federal prosecution.
The investigation was conducted by the US Department of Homeland Security, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Pennsylvania State Police.
“HSI is committed to keeping our neighbourhoods safe from dangerous drugs,” John Kelleghan, special agent in charge of HSI Philadelphia, was subsequently quoted as saying by ICE. “Individuals who think they can get away with these crimes are on notice: you will be arrested and brought to justice,” he added.