Three Puerto Rican men have been sentenced to prison for conspiring to distribute illegal narcotics.
According to court documents, Christian Jose Collazo Torres, 28, of Ponce, Puerto Rico, Neftali Santiago, 28, of Ponce, Puerto Rico, and Jean Carlos Flores Santiago, 32, of Caguas, Puerto Rico, conspired with each other to possess with the intent to distribute illegal narcotics, including Fentanyl, a schedule II controlled substance, for the purpose of smuggling the illegal narcotics and other contraband into CoreCivic Prison in Tutwiler, Mississippi. On April 24, 2021, the three individuals were found in close proximity to CoreCivic Prison in possession of two drones, narcotics, cigarettes and cell phones, packaged in a manner consistent with smuggling items into a prison. Each of the three individuals involved plead guilty to conspiring to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances.
On February 2, 2022, Torres was sentenced by Chief U.S District Judge Debra M. Brown of the Northern District of Mississippi to 18 months incarceration followed by 3 years of supervised release. On February 23, Judge Brown sentenced Neftali Santiago to 34 months incarceration followed by 3 years of supervised release. On March 9, Jean Carlos Santiago was sentenced by Judge Brown to24 months incarceration followed by 3 years of supervised release.
U.S. Attorney Clay Joyner of the Northern District of Mississippi and Don Douglas, Resident Agent in Charge of DEA, made the announcement.
“The prosecution of illegal drug trafficking is a priority in the Northern District of Mississippi, and we work closely with DEA, the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, and local law enforcement to ensure that those individuals and organizations who traffic and distribute drugs in our District are held accountable,” remarked Joyner. The actions of these individuals and their attempts to smuggle illegal narcotics into a prison facility make them extremely deserving of the prison sentences they received in this case.”
The DEA, Tutwiler Police Department, and Tallahatchie County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Mims prosecuted the case.