HACKENSACK, N.J. — Tormey Law Firm, LLC of Hackensack recently defended the case of a truck driver who last week was sentenced to 10 years in state prison for trafficking 64 kilos of heroin and 10 kilos of cocaine into New Jersey, officials announced.
Henry A. Cruz Ventura, 40, of Los Angeles, Calif., plead guilty on May 5 to a charge of first-degree possession of heroin with intent to distribute. Ventura had been held in the Warren County Jail since his arrest on Aug. 23, 2016, with bail set at $250,000, NJ Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino said.
The drugs were seized from his tractor-trailer last year by the New Jersey State Police on I-78 in Warren County, according to Porrino.
The seizure by the New Jersey State Police Mobile Safe Freight Unit ranks as one of the largest seizures of heroin by law enforcement in U.S. history, the attorney general said.
“The 64 kilos of heroin seized from Ventura’s tractor-trailer could have generated several million doses of heroin once cut and packaged for distribution,” Porrino said.
“Thanks to the vigilance of Trooper Agens, this deadly cargo never reached the streets of our communities, and undoubtedly lives were saved that would have been lost to overdoses. This sentence keeps Ventura in prison where he belongs.”
“Seizures on this scale have a major and immediate impact in cutting off the supply line of these deadly and corrosive drugs in New Jersey and the region,” said Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice.
“We’ll continue to target large-scale heroin traffickers as well as those who run the pill mills that are fueling addiction by illegally supplying the black market for prescription opiates.”
Ventura was arrested on Aug. 23, 2016, after a member of the State Police Mobile Safe Freight Unit stopped his tractor-trailer on I-78 in Greenwich Township to conduct a routine commercial vehicle safety inspection, authorities said.
Trooper James Agens, who made the stop, noted suspicious behavior by Ventura and irregularities with respect to the tractor-trailer and its cargo, Porrino said.
Trooper Agens and Sgt. 1st Class Ronald Mistretta, who responded to assist, had the rig moved to the Greenwich Weigh Station, where they obtained consent to search it. When they opened four boxes that were inconsistent with the legitimate cargo listed in the shipping manifest, they found 64 kilograms of heroin and 10 kilograms of cocaine.