Feds: New York man guilty in $2 million drug case, his co-defendant is on the run
A New York City man accused of transporting an estimated $2 million worth of heroin along Interstate 80 in January 2016, was found guilty this week in a federal trial in Pittsburgh.
A man was traveling with him escaped from house arrest and is being sought.
The jury deliberating for about an hour on Wednesday , Dec. 12, before finding Juan Wilquin Hernandez-Bourdier guilty of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute heroin and possession of heroin, federal prosecutors said. He is scheduled to be sentenced May 10, prosecutors said.
In the trial before U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton, prosecutors said Bourdier was a passenger in a vehicle that state police stopped on Interstate 80 on Jan. 20, 2016. A trooper found a “trap” in the vehicle that hid four rectangular blocks containing 4,195 grams — more than 9 pounds — of heroin.
The outer layers of wrapping on those blocks consisted of coffee grounds and plastic wrap.
Lab analysis located two fingerprints of the driver on the kilogram packages and a box of plastic wrap and coffee grounds were contained within a backpack in the van.
Lab analysis of a toothbrush in the backpack with the coffee grounds and plastic wrap revealed the DNA of Hernandez-Bourdier.
A Drug Enforcement Administration agent estimated that the 210,000 stamp bags worth of heroin Bourdier was transporting was valued at more than $2 million on the street.
The driver of the vehicle, Habys Meran, while on house arrest, cut off his house arrest bracelet and fled.
He is currently a wanted fugitive. Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts may contact the United States Marshals Service Fugitive Unit at 412-644-6627.
Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe at 724-836-5252 or email@example.com.