FALL RIVER — Ivan Fontanez, a 47-year-old New Bedford man, plead guilty and was sentenced in the Fall River Superior Court on December 3, 2108, for trafficking in cocaine, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.

New Bedford Police received information during the week of December 18, 2016, that the defendant would be receiving a package containing cocaine from Puerto Rico within the next two weeks. United States Postal Service Special Agents indicated that the package, with a weight of 10.2 pounds, was being sent from Puerto Rico to 241 State Street, Apartment 3 with a listed recipient of Ivan Fontanez, Sr. The defendant did not reside or stay at this location.

The defendant was observed by police outside of 241 State Street the week of December 25, 2016. He would enter the building when the postal carrier dropped off the mail, but emerged with no packages. On Thursday, December 29, New Bedford Police confirmed with the US Postal Agent that the package from Puerto Rico was in transit to 241 State Street. Fontanez again arrived at that location and circled the block until the mail carrier arrived. Once the mail delivery had been made, he entered the building and emerged with the package. Fontanez was not stopped at that time.

During the week of January 8, New Bedford police received information from the US Postal agent that a second package weighing 10.4 pounds was being sent from the same post office in Puerto Rico to 171 Weld Street to Arthur Anderson. Again, the sender’s address was not valid, as 171 Weld Street is located across the street from 241 State Street. On January 14, the date of the package delivery, police set up surveillance outside of 171 Weld Street. The defendant, who did not reside at this residence, arrived approximately 30 minutes after the package had been delivered. The defendant was observed entering the rear door of the building and emerged with a white plastic bag with a large box inside. The defendant was stopped by police. Police located, in the box held by the defendant, approximately 1,000 grams of cocaine inside bags of coffee.

At sentencing, Judge Thomas McGuire imposed an agreed upon state prison sentence of six years to eight and a half years for trafficking cocaine over 36 grams. The Commonwealth was represented by Assistant District Attorney Kristen Wiley.

--Bristol County District Attorney's Office