A US District Judge in New York sentenced 22-year-old, Joel C. Jacob, to 36 months on probation for ordering more than 180 grams of MDMA in 2016. In collaboration with his housemate, Jacob had ordered the drugs online and used Bitcoin as the payment source. The East Meadow man had not prepared his Campus Drive apartment for the USPIS controlled delivery and subsequent raid by New York police that landed him in jail.
Homeland Security Investigations and Immigration and Customs Enforcement first spotted the package of MDMA in August 2016. They then passed relevant information to the United States Postal Service and local law enforcement. The United States Postal Inspection Service received the package once it had crossed US borders.
Upon interception and examination of the package, the USPIS Boston Division identified the content and recipients. They found that a German vendor had mailed the package from Munchen, Germany. It contained, as likely suspected by HSI before they even saw the package, more than 180 grams of MDMA. HSI could have flagged the package for any number of reasons. Out of 150 billion pieces of mail sent through the US postal service’s mail stream in 2016, HSI consistently caught ecstasy packages from the Netherlands and Germany—often before the packages reached the US.
HSI may have flagged the package based on the package profile and sender’s location. They could have flagged the sender’s address. There is also the possibility that federal authorities had flagged the recipient’s address at a previous date and HSI received an alert when mail sorting centers scanned the address. After the controlled delivery occurred and police searched the house, they reported finding marijuana, cocaine, Xanax, ketamine, and LSD. They also found scales and bags.
Connor Dempsey, Jacob’s housemate, caught charges related only to the drugs in the house. He pleaded guilty in May to conspiring to maintain a drug involved premises and received a sentence soon afterwards. On the same date, Jacob pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess MDMA with intent to distribute. At the apartment, police found a piece of mail belonging to a third defendant named Rohan Chopra. Dempsey and Jacob had given Chopra keys to the apartment so that Chopra could use the place as a base of operations for drug distribution.
Chopra, prior to Jacob and Dempsey’s arrest, had told the co-defendants to refuse to sign for the packages that arrived and to deny expecting packages at the address. Despite the warnings by Chopra, Jacob signed and took responsibility for the package.
US District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford sentenced Jacob to 36 months on probation and six months—while on probation—under house arrest.