Leonard C Boyle, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that JOSE RODRIGUEZ-CARABALLO, also known as “Puma,” 32, of New Haven, pleaded guilty today via videoconference before U.S. District Judge Jeffrey A. Meyer to cocaine trafficking offenses.
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 an associate of Rodriguez-Caraballo was supervising the receipt of numerous parcels containing kilogram quantities of cocaine that had been shipped from Puerto Rico to addresses in and around New Haven, the resale of the cocaine to others, and the shipment of narcotics proceeds to individuals in Puerto Rico. During the investigation, law enforcement intercepted multiple parcels of cocaine and U.S. currency that was sent through the U.S. Mail.
The investigation revealed that Rodriguez-Caraballo picked up cocaine parcels from the addresses they were shipped to, repackaged the cocaine, and helped distribute it to other drug sellers and customers.
Rodriguez-Caraballo was arrested on March 18, 2021, after he traveled with a co-conspirator to complete a cocaine transaction. Investigators seized approximately two kilograms of cocaine and a firearm from their vehicle.
Rodriguez-Caraballo pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and one count of possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine. Judge Meyer scheduled sentencing for April 21, at which time Rodriguez-Caraballo faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life.
Rodriguez-Caraballo 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. Attorneys Konstantin Lantsman and Karen Peck 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.