PORTLAND — A Massachusetts man and a Florida man have agreed to plead guilty in federal court to charges that they funneled cocaine and heroin into Maine.

William Mejia-Cruz, 41, of Jamaica Plain, Mass., and Jose Reyes-Cancel, 24, of Kissimmee, Fla., were arrested in February. A third man, Eddy Mejia-Guerrero, 19, of Charlestown, Mass., was also arrested and has pleaded not guilty to a conspiracy charge.

According to documents filed at U.S. District Court, Mejia-Cruz and Reyes-Cancel have agreed to plead guilty to a conspiracy in which they helped distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine and more than 1 kilogram of heroin. Change-of-plea hearings for both men have been scheduled for next month.

They face a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 10 years, and a maximum of life in prison.

The joint investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency began in October 2009. Agents received court orders allowing them to intercept hundreds of calls made on six cellular telephones allegedly used by the ringleader, 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 locations in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

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

“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.

 

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

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