BOSTON – Two men have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Boston in connection with a traffic stop in Littleton on March 29, 2023, that resulted in the seizure of 20 kilograms of cocaine.
Cornelio Hernandez, 51, of Fort Worth, Texas; and Erasmo Lira-Mendez, 38, a citizen of Mexico, have been indicted on one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances and one count of possession with intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine. Hernandez and Lira-Mendez were arrested on March 29, 2023, on related state charges. The defendants were detained following an initial appearance in federal court in Worcester today before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge David H. Hennessy.
According to court documents, Hernandez and Lira-Mendez were arrested after a traffic stop in Littleton resulted in the seizure of 20 kilograms of cocaine from a duffle bag on the back seat of their car. The driver, Lira-Mendez, lacked a driver’s license. The passenger, Hernandez, also lacked a driver’s license and had a pending warrant for his arrest in Texas.
The charges of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances (involving 5 kilograms or more of cocaine) and possession with intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine provide for a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years incarceration and a maximum of life, at least five years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $10 million. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.
Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy and Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Field Division made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Samuel R. Feldman of Levy’s Narcotics & Money Laundering Unit is prosecuting the case.
The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
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