Hadley man involved in interstate cocaine ring pleads guilty
SPRINGFIELD — A Hadley man pleaded guilty Friday in U.S. District Court to a charge of distributing more than 5 kilograms of cocaine. The charge resulted from a long-term investigation into the flow of cocaine from Texas to the Easthampton-Northampton area as well as other parts of New England.
Pablo “Pete” Drullard, 31, of 13 Norwottuck Drive, Hadley, and formerly of Day Avenue in Northampton, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute. He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison followed by five years of supervised release and a $10 million fine. Sentencing is scheduled for May 13.
The investigation that netted Drullard and his alleged accomplice Joaquin “Chito” Carrillo, 31, whose address is listed in court documents only as Easthampton, began in the summer of 2010 and involved seven controlled drug purchases by an informant, wire tapping, physical surveillance, electronic surveillance (a pole camera) and the seizure of 10 kilograms of cocaine, according to court documents.
The case against Carrillo on a charge of conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute will be continued in U.S. District Court in Springfield next week.
According to court documents, Drullard and Carrillo were part of a drug distribution ring that brought cocaine from Texas to Easthampton in a 1999 green Ford Taurus with a hidden compartment.
Law enforcement officials were tipped off to the trafficking when they received information about a suspicious vehicle, the green Taurus. Based on that information, police performed a sweep of the vehicle, which was owned by a member of Carrillo’s family, with a drug-sniffing police dog. Police found the compartment, but it was empty. Two months later, the same car was spotted in Texas and pulled over. About 10 kilograms of cocaine were found in the hidden compartment, according to prosecutors. The driver, who was not named in court papers, was arrested.
After the Texas seizure, an Easthampton police officer checked surveillance footage shot at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Conn., taken a few days prior to the arrest. Drullard as well as Carrillo’s brother and the person driving the green Taurus were caught on tape together.
Over the next eight months or so, police set up more than $13,000 in cocaine purchases by an informant from Carrillo. They also listened in on a handful of telephone conversations between Carrillo and Drullard in which the two discussed complaints about the quality of the cocaine they were selling, deliveries and prices. Physical evidence of the crime was also found at Drullard’s Northampton home, according to court papers.