ROCHESTER, N.Y. — U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Edwin Calderon, 39, of Rochester, NY, who was convicted of conspiring to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, 500 grams or more of cocaine, and conspiring to commit money laundering, was sentenced to serve 120 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Katelyn M. Hartford, who handled the case, stated that between 2015 and September 27, 2018, the defendant conspired with Carlos Cruz-Garcia and others, to sell cocaine. Calderon obtained quantities of cocaine to distribute in the Rochester area. Some came through the United States Postal Service addressed to other people, including Cruz-Garcia. Those packages contained half-kilogram quantities of cocaine and were shipped from Puerto Rico. Co-conspirators would then deliver the packages to the defendant who would sell the cocaine for profit.
In furtherance of the money laundering conspiracy, Calderon and his co-conspirators exchanged small denomination bills from drug sales for larger denomination bills at banks, in an effort to reduce the physical size of the bills and, therefore, make it easier to conceal and transport.
On July 20 and July 31, 2018, the defendant and Cruz-Garcia traveled to a credit union on Ridge Road in Rochester and exchanged approximately $11,000 worth of small denomination bills for $100 bills. On July 20, 2018, Calderon and Cruz-Garcia traveled to another credit union on Mt. Read Boulevard in Rochester and exchanged approximately $8,000 worth of small denomination bills for $100 bills. After obtaining the larger denomination bills, the defendant and his co-conspirators would send large amounts of money – consisting of drug proceeds – concealed in multiple packages through the United States Postal Service from Rochester to Puerto Rico.
Calderon was charged along with Carlos Cruz-Garcia and Manuel Medina. All three defendants have been convicted.
This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.
The sentencing is the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Ray Donovan, New York Field Division, and the United States Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Inspector-in-Charge Joseph W. Cronin of the Boston Division
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