ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A Loudonville man could face up to 40 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to a cocaine distribution conspiracy in federal court on Wednesday. Jesus Baez, 32, admitted as part of his plea that he and three others worked together to distribute cocaine, shipped from Puerto Rico, throughout the Capital Region. The drug ring operated between June 2021 and December 2021, according to a news release from United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman.

The cocaine was shipped via U.S. mail in one-kilogram bricks and transported to a stash house maintained by Baez on Fifth Avenue in Troy. There, the cocaine was processed for distribution.

Sentencing is scheduled for February 8, 2023, in front of Senior United States District Judge Gary L. Sharpe. Baez faces anywhere from five to 40 years behind bars, a fine of up to $5 million, and a term of supervised release of at least four years and up to life. Baez also agreed to forfeit $5,000 seized from his residence as proceeds of the drug conspiracy.

Baez’s plea resolves the charges against him in an indictment unsealed in September. Jan Lopez-Colon, 28, of Troy, Ilvin Batista-Figueroa, 31, of Albany, and Sam Calderon, 20, of Troy, were also charged for their role in the conspiracy.

Calderon previously pleaded guilty before Judge Sharpe. The charges against codefendants Lopez-Colon and Batista-Figueroa remain pending.

This case is being investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and its Capital Region Task Force, which includes the Albany Police Department, the Albany County Sheriff’s Office, and the Schenectady Police Department, as well as the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin S. Clark.