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Jose “Hippie” Mercedes Sr. was sentenced to 14 years in jail.
A Yonkers drug kingpin, who had $50 million value of heroin seized by authorities, has been sentenced to 14 years in jail for operating an enormous narcotics operation in New York Metropolis.
Jose “Hippie” Mercedes Sr., forty nine, was sentenced this week in Manhattan Supreme Courtroom, the Drug Enforcement Administration stated on Wednesday. Mercedes, who lived in an house at 185 Bronx River Street, used the heroin trade to live a lavish lifestyle. As part of his operation, he used his family as collateral with Mexican drug cartels, the DEA said.
“Jose Mercedes Sr. will spend 14 years in New York state prison as just punishment for the death and devastation he and his drug organization inflicted on our city,” Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridge G. Brennan said in a statement.
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Mercedes was arrested in May 2015 as the DEA said it found more than 150 pounds of heroin and more than $2 million in cash in the Fieldston neighborhood in the Bronx where he ran his operation. It was the largest heroin haul ever in New York City for the DEA, which said the seized shipment could have produced more than 8 million doses of heroin — enough for one dose for every adult and child in New York City.
The DEA, with the help of a drug-sniffing dog from the Yonkers Police Department, said it found the $2 million under the floorboards in May 2015 in an apartment at 210 W. 251st St. in the Bronx, where Mercedes ran his operation. Outside that building agents searched a Chevy Suburban being driven by Bronx resident Yenci Cruz Francisco, who was charged alongside Mercedes, and found more than 150 pounds of heroin in a hidden compartment under the floor of the SUV.
(Photo: AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Mercedes pleaded guilty on Sept. 14, one day before his trial was set to begin, to a felony count of first-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, the DEA said.
Mercedes oversaw an operation that distributed heroin throughout the Northeast, the DEA said, and he had generations of his family working in the business, including his son, brother and nieces and nephews. The DEA said he controlled his relatives and put their lives at risk with violent Mexican cartels as part of his drug deals.
Mercedes’ son, Jose Mercedes Jr., and another man, Juan Infante, were also arrested as part of the investigation.