Former Fugitive Drug Dealer Sentenced to 25 years in Prison


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



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  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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