A York cocaine dealer wants to 'make amends.' A judge says this will do it ...

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch

A York-area drug dealer has been sentenced to five years in federal prison and must forfeit more than $200,000 for his role in a cocaine distribution ring.

Juan Rivera Marrero, 57, pleaded guilty in Harrisburg's federal court on Wednesday, Nov. 13, to conspiracy to distribute cocaine and money laundering, according to federal court records.

Known both as Charlie and "Viejo," Rivera Marrero has a plea agreement that requires him to forfeit to the government $205,000 worth of cash or property, records state.

He was one of eight people arrested by York City Police and members of the Drug Enforcement Agency in 2017 during "Operation Low Key," a six-month joint investigation, officials have said.

Through Operation Low Key, police seized 29 pounds of cocaine with a street value of $1.2 million, as well as $355,000 cash, a large quantity of heroin and marijuana, police have said.

Defense attorney Robert Daniels Jr. said his client will receive credit for the roughly 30 months he's spent incarcerated since his arrest.

"He accepted responsibility for his actions, and he's looking to make amends and move on from this mistake," Daniels said, adding Rivera Marrero will likely be looking to take advantage of federal prison programming to better himself.

Juan Rivera Marrero

Six of the eight people arrested, including Rivera Marrero, live in the York area, officials said.

Operation Low Key: The operation included controlled drug buys, surveillance and interviews, police said, adding they searched nine separate locations in York City during the operation.

Also indicted on charges of conspiracy to distribute cocaine were York County residents Jean "Jon" Carlos Tores-Santiago, Ramon "Chi Chi" Puig Rodriguez, Henry "Gordo" Delgado, Charlie Abdiel Cruz Velez and Luis "Junkito" Daniel Baez, plus Angel Santiago Torres of Bethlehem and Cheyenne "Charlie" Torres Santiago of Puerto Rico, officials said.

The U.S. Marshals Service, state police, York County Sheriff's Office, the Internal Revenue Service, and the U.S. Postal Service assisted in the investigation.

— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.

York City Police say about $355,000 was seized during a drug investigation. Photo courtesy York City Police.