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Former law officers sentenced for attempting to smuggle heroin

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Today, Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez of the District of Puerto Rico, announced the sentencing of Joel Torres-Velazquez, 49, of Guánica, Puerto Rico, who worked as a state marshal at the Ponce Superior Court, and Jessica Moreno-Alicea, 39, of Ponce, Puerto Rico, who worked as a correctional officer at the Ponce State Penitentiary, for attempting to smuggle heroin to inmates in exchange for payment.

On March 30, 2011, Torres-Velazquez met with an undercover agent, who he believed was a drug dealer and was given what he believed to be a package of heroin. He was paid $600 to deliver the purported heroin to an inmate in the courthouse that same day. He pleaded guilty on November 6, 2013, to a one-count indictment charging him with attempt to distribute a controlled substance. Torres-Velazquez was sentenced to serve 37 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.

On February 3, 2011, Moreno met with an undercover agent, whom she believed was a drug dealer, and was given what she believed to be heroin. She was paid $800 to deliver the purported heroin to an inmate in the prison on February 8, 2011. She pleaded guilty on December 6, 2013, to a one-count indictment charging her with attempt to distribute a controlled substance. Moreno was sentenced to serve 37 months in prison, followed by four years of supervised release.

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