PORTLAND – Two men from Massachusetts and one from Florida have been charged in federal court in Portland with running a drug ring that funneled cocaine and heroin into Maine.

William Mejia-Cruz, 41, of Jamaica Plain, Mass.; Eddy Mejia-Guerrero, 19, of Charlestown, Mass.; and Jose Reyes-Cancel, 24, of Kissimmee, Fla., were arrested Friday and charged with conspiracy, according to records at U.S. District Court.

If convicted, they would face up to 20 years in prison.

The joint investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency has been ongoing since October.

Agents received court orders allowing them to intercept hundreds of calls made on six cellular telephones allegedly used by the ring-leader, Mejia-Cruz.

Jason Pease, a special agent with the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, wrote an affidavit in support of the arrests. He said the investigation into the drug operation included the intercepted calls, information provided by cooperating sources, surveillance operations and controlled drug purchases by an informant.

According to Pease’s affidavit, Mejia-Cruz took drug orders from customers in Maine on the cell phones, and then set up meetings between the customers and couriers at various locations in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Mejia-Cruz used beer terminology, and later fruit terminology, as code for drug orders, Pease alleged.

”Mejia-Cruz typically used the term ‘Budweiser’ to refer to a gram of heroin. I further believe that Mejia-Cruz typically used the terms ‘Corona’ to refer to an ounce of cocaine, ‘Corona Light’ to refer to a half-ounce of cocaine, and ‘six-pack’ to refer to one-eighth of an ounce of cocaine,” Pease wrote.

”Through interceptions over target telephone number six, I believe that Mejia-Cruz switched to use the term ‘apple’ to refer to a gram of heroin, ‘grapefruit’ to refer to an ounce of cocaine, and ‘peach’ to refer to an eighth of an ounce of cocaine.”

Besides the arrests of the three defendants, drug agents also have arrested at least two people who allegedly purchased drugs from Mejia-Cruz and his associates.

The customers are not identified in court documents.

The next step is for the defendants to be arraigned. No court dates have been set for those hearings.

 

Staff writer Trevor Maxwell can be contacted at 791-6451 or at:

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