A convicted North Arlington meth dealer who was caught selling “8 balls” must spend the next nine years in federal prison.
A federal judge in Newark sentenced Jeff DelaCruz, 38, to the plea-bargained term on Tuesday for having nearly two ounces of meth for sale.
DelaCruz must serve just about all of the sentence because there's no parole in the federal prison system.
DEA agents watched in May 2019 as DelaCruz sold two “8-balls” of methamphetamine for $350 in cash, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said.
He then agreed to sell three ounces of meth to a buyer for about $3,000, Carpenito added.
Soon after, special agents and officers of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration raided DelaCruz’s home, seized five ounces of meth and took him into custody.
DelaCruz accepted a plea offer from the government rather than go to trial.
In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge Claire C. Cecchi sentenced DelaCruz to five years of supervised release.
Carpenito credited special agents of the DEA with the investigation leading to Tuesday’s sentencing, secured by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patricia Astorga of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’ Opioids Unit in Newark.
The case was conducted under the auspices of the New York Strike Force, a crime-fighting unit comprised of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies supported by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), he said.
The principal mission of the OCDETF program, Carpenito said, is to “identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.”
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