U.S. District Judge Mitchell S. Goldberg, on December 22, convicted a four-time drug trafficker to 204 months in prison. Angel Catalino Ivostraza-Torres, a 53-year-old from North Philidelphia, received one count of possession with intent to distribute 500 grams of cocaine—first-degree distribution. In total, according to court documents, Ivostraza-Torres possessed 991 grams of cocaine. Investigators, based on evidence built against Ivostraza-Torres, claimed he intended to sell it all.
The case against Ivostraza-Torres began when a United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) officer detected a suspicious Express Mail package. According to Cotelia Bond-Young, the investigating USPIS officer on the case, the package originated from Peurto Rico. She ran both names and addresses on the parcel through the Law Enforcement Database “CLEAR.” The CLEAR database showed that the return address listed a fake name and the recipient address similarly listed an incorrect name. She said that “Jesus M. Soto Rivera,” the name listed as the addressee, was not associated with the address on the package.
She knew, from her training as a USPIS officer, that drug dealers often used “fictitious” names. The Camden County Sheriff Police Department allowed the postal inspector to use their K9 unit—one that passed the United States Police K9 Association Drug Detector Dog Certification. The dog positively alerted the officers to the presence of drugs within the package. Officers then opened the box.
The findings are described in the Criminal Complaint:
Postal Inspectors opened the parcel and found inside green foam packing peanuts surrounding an “Epson XP-320” printer box. Inside the printer box was a black printer. Inside the black printer was a vacuum sealed bag and inside the vacuum sealed bag was a white powdery substance. The white powdery substance field-tested positive for the presence of cocaine with an approximate total weight of one kilogram. The estimated street value of one kilogram of cocaine is $100,000 US Dollars if broken down for distribution in user quantities (Criminal Complaint).
Bond-Young received a warrant for the addressee on the box and to made a move. The judge also allowed the officers to place a GPS unit inside the package with an alarm function. The alarm triggered once the recipient opened the parcel.
And on March 10 at 6:15 PM, officers performed a controlled delivery after the first alarm went off. They arrested Ivostraza-Torres at an auto detailing business. He waived his Miranda rights and attempted to explain his innocence.
The Indictment describes this briefly. From that point forward, the explanation fell apart.:
At approximately 6:55 PM, Ivostraza-Torres waived his Miranda rights. He stated in summary and in part that a Hispanic male, who he did not know, approached him. He said that he would give him 100 US currency to get the printer out of the maroon Chevrolet [parked beside the building] and take it out of the box and put in on the tool case inside of “Finishline Auto.”
Judge Goldberg sentenced the 53-year-old, in addition to the 17-year prison term, to eight years of supervised release. If Ivostraza-Torres serves all 17 years in prison, he will be a parolee until he turns 78-years-old.