Two California truck drivers who were arrested last spring on Interstate 84 for transporting about 12 kilograms of heroin were each sentenced to 10 years in state prison on Tuesday.
Joaquin Ramos Hernandez, 34, and Enrique Becerra Mendoza, 38, both from Fresno, pleaded guilty at the time of their arrest to first-degree felony charges of possession of a controlled substance.
On April 16, New York state troopers pulled over the pair traveling eastbound on 1-84 through the town of Wawayanda for not displaying the proper state decals. After a K-9 unit search, officials found more than 12 kilograms (about 126 pounds) of heroin inside, yielding an estimated $12 million in illegal sales, according to authorities.
Orange County District Attorney David Hoover told the Mid-Hudson News that the sentencing of these criminals sends a strong message to those who may consider hauling illegal drugs in the future.
“Hopefully, the decade these defendants will serve in prison will deter some who are tempted to traffic in these lethal substances,” said Hoovler. “The size of this seizure is a stark reminder of the magnitude
of the heroin epidemic.”
He said the heroin found in the truck was enough to create over one million decks of heroin.
“While education and treatment are necessary to stem the heroin epidemic, my office will continue to seek severe sanctions for anyone who aids in the sale and distribution of these dangerous substances,” Hoover said.