Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that JEAN MANGUAL-CASTRO, 35, of West Haven, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Sarala V. Nagala in Hartford to a cocaine trafficking offense.
According to court documents and statements made in court, an investigation headed by the FBI’s New Haven Safe Streets/Gang Task Force and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s Narcotics and Bulk Cash Trafficking Task Force revealed that Mangual-Castro was orchestrating shipments of cocaine through the U.S. Mail from Puerto Rico. On December 20, 2021, after investigators identified a suspicious package that had been delivered to the West Haven residence of Mangual-Castro’s mother, investigators conducted a court-authorized search of the residence and seized approximately two kilograms of cocaine, a Rolex watch, jewelry, and approximately $2,900 in cash. During the investigation, law enforcement also found at another location approximately three kilograms of cocaine that had been mailed from Puerto Rico to Connecticut at Mangual-Castro’s direction. Investigators identified more than 30 suspicious parcels that had been shipped from Puerto Rico to addresses connected to Mangual-Castro in Connecticut.
Mangual-Castro pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, an offense that carries a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life. Judge Nagala scheduled sentencing for December 5.
Mangual-Castro has been detained since his arrest on December 20, 2021.
The FBI’s New Haven Safe Streets/Gang Task Force includes participants from the New Haven Police Department, Milford Police Department, East Haven Police Department, West Haven Police Department, Connecticut State Police and the Connecticut Department of Correction. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s Narcotics and Bulk Cash Trafficking 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 Anthony E. Kaplan and Kenneth L. Gresham 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.