New York Man Sentenced to Over Five Years in Prison For Taking Part in Drug Conspiracy
Defendant Fled to the Dominican Republic While Awaiting Sentencing
WASHINGTON – Edwin A. Henriquez, 36, formerly of Hempstead, N.Y., has been sentenced to a prison term of five years and eight months on a federal charge stemming from his participation in a drug trafficking ring, U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips announced today.
Henriquez pled guilty on Feb. 19, 2008, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, to a charge of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine. Following his plea, he was released on personal recognizance with a number of conditions, including that he maintain contact with authorities. However, in June 2008, law enforcement was no longer aware of his whereabouts. In July 2008, a warrant was issued for Henriquez’s arrest. He was apprehended on July 1, 2015 in the Dominican Republic and extradited to the United States.
Henriquez was sentenced on Feb. 9, 2016 by the Honorable John D. Bates. Upon completion of his prison term, he will be placed on three years of supervised release.
According to the government’s evidence, in January 2008, Henriquez traveled from New York to Atlanta, Ga., to purchase two kilograms of cocaine. He paid a total of $40,000 for the cocaine, including $30,000 from a co-conspirator and $10,000 of his own money. He then packaged the drugs in a hidden compartment inside of a VCR and purchased a train ticket to return to and deliver the cocaine to New York. On Jan. 17, 2008, a detective with the Amtrak Police Department was on duty and noticed that Henriquez made the train ticket reservation from Atlanta to New York in a suspicious manner. He provided the defendant’s name and train car number to the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).
On Jan. 18, 2008, while the train was at Union Station in Washington, D.C., MPD officers went to Henriquez’s sleeper car. After a brief conversation, Henriquez gave the officers permission to search the sleeper car and his bag. The officers searched the bag and discovered the cocaine, leading to Henriquez’s arrest.
Following his disappearance from the United States, Henriquez was tracked by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to the Dominican Republic. The Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs assisted in securing his extradition to the United States, and he was returned to Washington, D.C., by the U.S. Marshals Service.
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Phillips commended those who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department, the Amtrak Police Department, the New York and Washington, D.C. offices of the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the U.S. Marshals Service. He expressed appreciation for the assistance provided by the Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs as well as the government of the Dominican Republic. Finally, he praised the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Angela S. George, of the office’s Violent Crime and Narcotics Trafficking Section, who investigated and prosecuted the case.