Lodi Man Sentenced to 10 Years for Operating Heroin Business from Family Kitchen
By Travis Tormey posted in Drug Charges on Friday, May 17, 2013
On Friday, a 50-year-old Lodi man was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his role in a family-operated heroin distribution ring.
According to prosecutors, the heroin business was run by William Diaz and his wife Lydia Cruz. Ms. Cruz’s son, Irving Sanchez, Jr., also took part in the operation. Authorities said that Mr. Diaz travelled to Manhattan every week to sell thousands of dollars worth of heroin.
At the Superior Court in Hackensack, Mr. Diaz pleaded guilty to possession of heroin with intent to distribute, conspiracy, and money laundering.
Prior to sentencing, the judge reflected on the profound sadness of a family coming together to run a criminal enterprise. Mr. Diaz’s 10-year prison term includes a 20-month period of parole ineligibility.
The criminal charge for distribution of heroin in New Jersey is set forth in N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5, which prohibits a person from distributing or possessing with intent to distribute a controlled substance such as heroin. The penalties for distributing heroin vary, depending on the amount of heroin in question. In Mr. Diaz’s case, he possessed much more than five (5) ounces of heroin with intent to distribute. As a result, his offense could have been classified as a first degree crime, exposing him to as many as 20 years in prison.
Additionally, when Mr. Diaz gets out of prison, his bank account could be considerably lighter: authorities are also seeking forfeiture of more than $386,000.00 in cash and vehicles that were seized from the family.
For more information, see the NorthJersey.com article entitled “Lodi Man Draws 10-Year Sentence in Family’s Heroin Ring.”