Former Fugitive Drug Dealer Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison

Over 500 Kilograms of Cocaine Delivered to Maryland During the Conspiracy

October 29, 2009

Greenbelt, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte sentenced Arnulfo Hernandez, age 46, formerly of Silver Spring, Maryland, today to 25 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release, for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. Hernandez was indicted on October 24, 2001, but was a fugitive until his arrest in March 2008.

According to Hernandez’s guilty plea, from at least 1997 through November 2001, he conspired to distribute cocaine by coordinating the transportation of shipments by couriers, coordinating with the suppliers of the cocaine, arranging for the storage of the cocaine in Maryland and assisting with the delivery of the drug proceeds. The shipments were sent from Mexico through Chicago, California and Texas, and unloaded at locations in Maryland, including a landscaping business in Potomac, Maryland. Arnulfo Hernandez and other members of the organization distributed the drugs to customers in Maryland.

Between January and November 2001, Arnulfo Hernandez delivered or directed his brother and co-conspirator, Manuel Hernandez, to deliver kilograms of cocaine to numerous individuals. In the Fall of 2001, while Arnulfo was in Mexico, Manuel Hernandez spoke to him on a daily basis and Arnulfo continued to arrange the drug shipments to Maryland and coordinated the payments.

Based upon telephone intercepts, witness interviews, cellular air time records and documentary evidence, during Arnulfo Hernandez’s involvement in the conspiracy over 500 kilograms of cocaine were delivered or intended to be delivered to Maryland for distribution.

Of the 31 charged in connection with this case, 26 individuals were convicted and served prison terms of 44 to 292 months. Manuel Hernandez, age 51, of Silver Spring, pleaded guilty to his role in the conspiracy and was sentenced to 255 months in prison. Four defendants remain fugitives.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Drug Enforcement Administration, the Montgomery County Police Department, the Prince George’s County Police Department, the Maryland State Police and the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation for their investigative work in this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case and commended Assistant United States Attorney Deborah A. Johnston, who prosecuted the case.



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