Leonard C Boyle, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England, and Ketty Larco-Ward, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Boston Division, announced that a federal grand jury in New Haven returned an indictment today charging JEAN CARLOS MERCADO, 32, of Meriden, with cocaine trafficking offenses stemming from his alleged participation in a drug trafficking organization that used the U.S. Mail to ship kilogram quantities of cocaine from Puerto Rico to Meriden.
As alleged in court documents, in October 2020, law enforcement identified suspicious parcels that were being mailed from Puerto Rico to an address in Meriden. On October 26, 2020, investigators identified Mercado after he picked up a parcel from that location. After Mercado picked up another parcel from the location on November 6, 2020, investigators coordinated a traffic stop of his vehicle, which was unregistered, and towed the vehicle and seized the parcel. A court-authorized search of the parcel revealed two kilograms of cocaine. In the following months, Mercado conspired with others to pick up postal parcels, and law enforcement seized four more kilograms of cocaine linked to Mercado.
The indictment charges Mercado with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, which carries a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life, and one count of possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, which carries a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years and a maximum term of imprisonment of 40 years.
Mercado was arrested on a federal criminal complaint on July 21, 2021, and is released on a $100,000 bond.
Acting U.S. Attorney Boyle stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This matter is being investigated by Drug Enforcement Administration New Haven Task Force and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, with assistance from the Meriden Police Department.
The 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.
Department of Justice
Office of the U.S. Attorney
District of Connecticut