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New London Woman Charged with Conspiring to Distribute Kilograms of Cocaine

Leonard C Boyle, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that a federal grand jury in New Haven has returned a superseding indictment charging GRISELLE ORTIZ ARCHILLA, 31, of New London, with conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute at least five kilograms of cocaine.

The superseding indictment was returned on February 8.  Ortiz Archilla appeared today via videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert M. Spector and is released on a $100,000 bond.

The superseding indictment also charges Carlos Antonio Crespo-Febus, 40, of New London, and Steven Collazo, 30, of Groton, with the same offense.  Crespo-Febus and Collazo were originally charged by indictment in September 2021.

As alleged in court documents and statements made in court, in April 2021, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s Narcotics and Bulk Cash Trafficking Task Force and the Drug Enforcement Administration began investigating a cocaine trafficking operation headed by Crespo-Febus.  The investigation revealed that Crespo-Febus was coordinating the shipment of parcels, typically containing two kilograms of cocaine, from U.S. Post Offices in Puerto Rico to various “drop addresses” in New London County.  Collazo and Ortiz Archilla picked up parcels from the drop addresses and delivered them to Crespo-Febus at Crespo-Febus’s New London residence.  Ortiz Archilla also recruited others into the conspiracy.

It is further alleged that investigators have intercepted and seized more than 12 kilograms of cocaine that were mailed from Puerto Rico to Connecticut, and have identified dozens of other suspicious parcels that likely contained kilogram quantities of cocaine.

Crespo-Febus and Collazo were arrested on September 20, 2021.  Crespo-Febus is detained and Collazo is released to home detention on a $100,000 bond.

The charge of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine carries a maximum term of imprisonment of life.

U.S. Attorney Boyle stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt.  Charges are only allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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 assistance from the New London and Town of Groton Police Departments.  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.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Konstantin Lantsman.

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