BRONX MAN SENTENCED TO 10 YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that HERIBERTO GONZALEZ, 31, of the Bronx, N.Y., was sentenced today by United States District Judge Janet C. Hall to 120 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for participating in events surrounding the February 2009 murder of Edward Rivera, 37, also of the Bronx.
According to the evidence presented during the separate trials of GONZALEZ and his co-defendant, Andrew Zayac of Scarsdale, N.Y., in early 2009, Zayac negotiated the purchase of 68 pounds of marijuana from Edward Rivera. Zayac and Rivera arranged to meet on February 8, 2009, to complete the transaction. On that date, Zayac kidnapped Rivera from the Bronx for the purpose of robbing him of the marijuana. During the course of the kidnapping and robbery, Rivera was shot twice and died as a result of the gunshot wounds. Zayac and GONZALEZ then dumped Rivera’s body in Danbury, Conn, drove back to the Bronx and burned Zayac’s car.
On February 28, 2009, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Zayac’s residence and seized approximately 61 pounds of marijuana. Zayac was arrested at that time.
GONZALEZ was arrested on June 17, 2009.
On June 21, 2011, a jury found GONZALEZ guilty of one count of possession with intent to distribute marijuana, three counts of destruction/concealment of evidence, and one count of conspiracy to destroy/conceal evidence. The jury found GONZALEZ not guilty of kidnapping, murder, robbery and firearms charges related to Rivera’s death.
On July 22, 2011, a jury found Zayac guilty of one count of kidnapping resulting in death, one count of murder during the commission of a robbery, one count of interference with commerce through the use of violence, one count of possession with intent to distribute marijuana, one count of conspiracy to use or possess a firearm in furtherance of crimes of violence and a narcotics trafficking offense, three counts of destruction/concealment of evidence, and one count of conspiracy to destroy/conceal evidence. The jury found Zayac not guilty of one count of premeditated murder.
Zayac is scheduled to be sentenced on November 21, 2011, at which time he faces a mandatory term of imprisonment of life on the murder charges.
This matter has been investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Danbury Police Department and the United States Marshals Service. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Michael J. Gustafson and Brian P. Leaming.
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