I GOT YOU! Fugitive cocaine dealer captured in Dominican Republic, returned to New Jersey after 15 years on the run
A cocaine trafficker who fled the country after being sentenced to federal prison 15 years ago has been returned to New Jersey after being captured in the Dominican Republic, authorities said.
Ramona Cruz will have to serve her full 3½ year sentence because there is no parole in the federal prison system.
Cruz and his brother, Ramon DeJesus, were arrested in 2005 with more than 6½ pounds of cocaine that had been flown through Newark airport by an unidentified Dominican Republic associate, authorities said.
DeJesus made a deal with the government rather than stand trial, pleading guilty to a drug charge. He has since served his sentence, New Jersey U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger said.
Cruz also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine, Sellinger said Thursday, September 15. In exchange, she was sentenced in 2007 to 40 months in federal prison followed by five years of probation. .
Federal authorities allowed Cruz to surrender voluntarily to the US Bureau of Prisons (BOP), the US attorney said.
Three days before it happened, Cruz “cut off her anklet and fled to the Dominican Republic to avoid jail, where she remained on the run until her recent arrest,” Sellinger said.
The U.S. attorney credited Marshals Service special agents and the Cherry Hill and Newark federal offices of Homeland Security investigations for Cruz’s capture.
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