Amanda Cruz, 22, of Newark, New Jersey was recently arrested, after it was found she had conspired to smuggle cocaine into the United States from Puerto Rico. She abused her position as a Mail Carrier to establish which homes were currently vacant, with the idea of sending the drugs to those addresses.

The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office announced Saturday that Cruz had been taken into custody and has been charged with two first degree narcotics violations. Carolyn A. Murray, the acting Essex Country Prosecutor, said Cruz was charged with two counts of possessing cocaine with the intent to distribute, along with related conspiracy charges.

Cocaine smuggling plans by New Jersey mail carrier

According to a press release, officials say that in June 2016, Cruz – at that stage a relatively new hire working at the Short Hills Post Office – made plans to smuggle the cocaine into the country from Puerto Rico. The New York Daily News quotes the director of the Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics task force, Romesh Sukhdeo, as saying Cruz had worked out just which residents in the area had their mail on hold. Saying Cruz assumed those householders were on vacation and away from their homes, the New Jersey mail carrier had the drugs sent to those addresses, after which a third party would then make the pickup.

Two residents were home when the cocaine arrived on their doorstep

According to Sukhdeo, the New Jersey mail carrier’s carefully laid plans went wrong, after two of the residents were home when the packages were delivered. In both cases, the residents opened the packages and immediately called the police. Sukhdeo estimates the packages contained around a kilogram (or 2.2 lbs) or pure cocaine with a street value of thousands of dollars.

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While there is a third party involved in the cocaine distribution scheme, no other arrests have reportedly been made at this stage.

As reported by the New Jersey Record, Murray and Sukhdeo both went on to commend the United States Postal Inspection Service, along with the Millburn Police Department, for the excellent work done in investigating the case.

According to Police Captain Michael Mulligan of the Millburn Police, the investigation worked well, due to the coordination and information sharing of the three agencies involved. Sudhdeo said everyone did excellent work. However, he went on to stress that the charges are currently accusations and that in all cases defendants are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or enter a guilty plea.