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Press Release

Chicago Man Sentenced To 28 Months’ Imprisonment For Heroin Trafficking

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Pennsylvania

SCRANTON—The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Pedro Hernandez, age 35, of Chicago, Illinois, was sentenced on July 17, 2019, by U.S. District Court Judge Robert D. Mariani to 28 months’ imprisonment for participating in a conspiracy that transported heroin from Chicago to Carbon County and elsewhere in Pennsylvania.

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, Hernandez pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute heroin. Hernandez admitted to acting as a courier for a Chicago-based heroin trafficking organization that shipped drugs to Pennsylvania during 2010 through 2015.

During the course of the investigation, thirteen defendants were charged and convicted, and more than 10 kilograms of heroin was seized by agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and members of the Pennsylvania State Police. Members of the drug ring also distributed other drugs during the course of the conspiracy, including cocaine, crack cocaine, methamphetamine, oxycodone, and fentanyl.

Other members of the drug ring, which operated in Chicago and various locations in Pennsylvania, including Carbon, Monroe, Berks, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties, were sentenced by Judge Mariani as follows:

  • Juan Mendez-Lazaro -156 months’ imprisonment;
  • Romualdo Hermosillo - Avendano - 120 months’ imprisonment;
  • Ramon Baez - 96 months’ imprisonment;
  • Donald Patnelli, Jr. - 75 months’ imprisonment;
  • Jose Hernandez-Tirado - 72 months’ imprisonment;
  • Luis Linarez - 66 months’ imprisonment;
  • Gilberto Bautista-Ocampo - 48 months’ imprisonment;
  • Arnando Diaz-DeJesus - 37 months’ imprisonment;
  • Richard Carvajal - 28 months’ imprisonment;
  • Maria Pina - 11 months’ imprisonment;
  • Stephen Krpata - 10 months’ imprisonment; and
  • Stephen Nordmark - 6 months’ imprisonment.

The matter was investigated by DEA, HSI, and the Pennsylvania State Police. Assistant U.S. Attorney Francis P. Sempa prosecuted the case.  

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

This case was also brought as part of a district wide initiative to combat the nationwide epidemic regarding the use and distribution of heroin.  Led by the United States Attorney’s Office, the Heroin Initiative targets heroin traffickers operating in the Middle District of Pennsylvania and is part of a coordinated effort among federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who commit heroin related offenses.


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Updated July 19, 2019

Drug Trafficking
Project Safe Neighborhoods