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A Bronx man gets 120 months in prison for smuggling drugs into the United States

NEW YORK - A drug dealer who received cocaine through an overnight mail service will spend 120 months in federal prison. The sentence was imposed on Feb. 19 in Manhattan federal court by U.S. District Judge Barbara S. Jones.

Albert Rivera, 38, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine following a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) investigation.

According to court documents filed in this case, on or about June 22, 2007, Rivera was present in the vicinity of a Bronx apartment in order to retrieve approximately one kilogram of cocaine that had been hidden in a mini stereo sent from the Dominican Republic.

The investigation began on June 21, 2007, when Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officers and ICE special agents conducted a border search of a package at the Federal Express facility in Memphis, Tennessee. Upon inspection, officers and agents found a mini stereo with a large package wrapped in tape inside the mini stereo. A test confirmed the substance in the package was cocaine.

At the time of his arrest, Rivera admitted to ICE special agents he was the intended recipient of the kilogram cocaine located within the mini stereo in the package, and that he intended to dilute the kilogram of cocaine with other materials and sell it as two kilograms of cocaine. Agents also seized two handguns.

"Intercepting drugs smuggled into the United States is essential to keeping our communities safe." said James T. Hayes, Jr., special agent in charge of ICE's Office of Investigations in New York. "ICE and its law enforcement partners will work effortlessly to find and bring those individuals who violate drug smuggling laws to justice."

Assistant U.S. Attorney Marissa Molé for the Southern District of New York was in charge of the prosecution.