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New York City heroin kingpin who sent family members to Mexico as collateral sentenced to 14-years

October 12, 2017  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
New York City heroin kingpin who sent family members to Mexico as collateral sentenced to 14-years

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A reputed New York City drug kingpin who sent family members including his son to a drug cartel in Mexico as insurance for multimillion-dollar drug deals was handed a 14-year prison term.

Federal prosecutors say Jose (Hippie) Mercedes, who led a drug ring from his Bronx apartment was sentenced to 14 years in prison followed by 5 years of supervised release.

Authorities arrested Mercedes in 2015 in what the DEA called at the time, one of biggest drug busts in New York City history that included the seizure of 70 pounds of heroin worth an estimated street value of more than $50 million.

The bust garnered further notoriety after authorities learned Mercedes had sent his members of his family including his son, to Sinaloa drug cartel operatives in Mexico as an insurance policy in case the heroin deals went wrong.

DEA officials said such arrangements were not uncommon in the drug trade, the New York Daily News reported.

According to Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan, Mercedes sacrificed the lives of his son, brother, nieces, and nephews, using them as a collateral in his drug conspiracy.

As soon as the drug loads were in transit, the cartel required Mercedes to send a family member to Mexico.

Court documents indicate during one trip to Mexico, Mercedes’ son suffered a severe head injury.

“No prison sentence could possibly compensate the thousands from every community who have lost loved ones to heroin addiction, but I hope this lengthy sentence and our successful investigation will serve as a warning to traffickers who try to use our city as their headquarters,” Brennan said in a statement.

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