SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Two men from Springfield were convicted by a federal jury for their participation in a large-scale drug trafficking organization.
According to a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice, 34-year-old Isaac Cardona, and 61-year-old Rafael Cardona Sr., were convicted after a 9-day trial. They stood accused of conspiracy to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine and one kilogram of heroin from Mexico to the Springfield area. Isaac Cardona was also accused of money laundering. Both were convicted on all mentioned charges.
The Cardonas were indicted in November 2017 as part of a 14-month wiretap investigation into a large-scale drug trafficking organization supplied by sources in Mexico and spanning over at least four states. They are scheduled to be sentenced on January 31, 2022.
The Cardonas conspired with co-defendant David Cruz to traffic cocaine and heroin from Mexico, through California, to the Springfield area and into New England. Isaac Cardona owed Cruz money for one kilogram of the cocaine Cruz had distributed to him, and, in order to pay down that debt, the Cardonas and other co-conspirators conspired to import at least one kilogram of heroin (which turned out to be pure fentanyl) from sources in Mexico.
In late August 2016, Isaac Cardona traveled by car to San Diego, Calif., with cash to pay for the heroin. Cruz later traveled to San Diego, retrieved the car and the cash, and, on Sept. 8, 2016, used the cash to purchase what he believed to be one kilogram of heroin. Law enforcement in California seized the vehicle and recovered approximately one kilogram of pure fentanyl.USDOJ
Cruz pleaded guilty to drug and firearms offenses and is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 9, 2021.