July 18, 2017

Sentence upheld for man who involved children in drug trafficking

SCRANTON - The Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the eight-year prison sentence for Carlos Cruz, 49, who used three of his children to help him distribute heroin and cocaine in Monroe and Wayne Counties during 2011-2014.

Cruz, who resided in Wayne and Monroe Counties at the time of the offense and later moved to Florida, claimed on appeal that the judge should have imposed a lesser sentence based on certain of Cruz’s personal characteristics.

In affirming the sentence, the Third Circuit Court rejected Cruz’s arguments and noted that Judge Richard Conaboy appropriately considered the relevant sentencing factors in imposing a sentence in the middle of the applicable guideline range.

The Third Circuit Court noted that Judge Conaboy appropriately “highlighted the distinct role that Cruz played in the illicit enterprise.” “Cruz,” noted the Court, “was the leader of the criminal activity, and his co-defendants were his children.” Judge Conaboy, the Third Circuit Court further noted, “explained that Cruz had taught his family to disrespect the law.”

Cruz previously pleaded guilty to conspiring with his children and others from Monroe and Wayne Counties, to distribute heroin and cocaine. Brandon Cruz, Tiffanyann Cruz, and Rubie Cruz also pleaded guilty to participating in the conspiracy.


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