Police masquerade as UPS driver to make arrest after cocaine discovery in rotary television – Fall River Reporter
A man has been taken into federal custody for allegedly conspiring to take possession of more than a kilogram of cocaine shipped from Colombia and packaged in an old model tube television.
Jomar Cruz-Aponte, 25, of Pawtucket, is charged in connection with a federal criminal complaint of conspiracy to possess 500 grams or more of cocaine with intent to distribute.
It is alleged in prosecution documents that on December 22, 2021, for the second time in nine days, U.S. Customs and Border Protection intercepted a package shipped to Rhode Island from Columbia, showing itself to contain a “Old television set of no commercial value”. The first package, addressed to a residence in Central Falls, contained an old rotary television with 300 grams of cocaine stored inside. The second package, intended for delivery by UPS to a residence in Pawtucket, contained a second model tube TV containing 1093 grams of cocaine stored inside.
On December 29, 2021, after removing the cocaine from the second TV, Homeland Security Investigations coordinated a supervised delivery of the package with the Pawtucket Police Department. An undercover police officer from Pawtucket, posing as a UPS driver, delivered the package to the front of the residence. A female retrieved the package and then quickly put it back on the steps. Shortly afterwards, Cruz would have been observed by members of the security forces walking in the neighborhood at the same time as a vehicle was slowly crossing the neighborhood. Later, Cruz approached the front of the residence from the backyard, retrieved the package and returned to the rear of the property to a nearby street where he got into the vehicle seen earlier by law enforcement. Pawtucket officers observed the vehicle leaving the area and, after brief surveillance, brought the car to a stop. Cruz would have quickly opened the passenger door and rushed out of the vehicle, the package in hand. He then allegedly threw the package on the ground and attempted to escape, but was unable to do so due to the heavy police presence.
A criminal complaint is only an accusation. An accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The case is being pursued by Assistant US Attorney William J. Ferland.