EAST ST. LOUIS — Rodolpho Hernandez Flores, a 47-year-old Mexican national, was sentenced Wednesday by Chief U.S. District Court Judge Michael J. Reagan to 50 months in federal prison for possessing with intent to distribute 5 or more kilograms of heroin, U.S. Attorney Stephen R. Wigginton said in a press release.
According to court documents, Flores pleaded guilty to driving 5.4 kilograms of heroin, hidden in his truck, across the United States to Ohio. An Illinois State Police trooper stopped Flores on Interstate 55 in April 2014 and following an alert by a drug canine, law enforcement found the heroin in a concealed compartment within the truck. Flores confessed to being a drug courier.
Reagan sentenced Flores after considering many factors, including the facts surrounding the traffic stop, Flores’ prior employment and work history, his character, and the serious amount of heroin in this case, commenting that “it’s a lot of heroin” and that Flores had “up to 50,000 doses of heroin.”
There is no parole in the federal prison system. In addition to the prison sentence, Reagan also sentenced Flores to serve three years of supervised release and pay a $500 fine. According to United States Attorney,
“The amount of heroin in this case is astonishing and highlights how severe the problem has become in our communities,” Wigginton said. “This is why I have made cases involving heroin one of the highest priorities in my office. We are deeply committed to prosecuting heroin traffickers, whether they are the illegal variety or those who do so with a prescription pad.”
The Illinois State Police and Drug Enforcement Administration investigated this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Monica A. Stump prosecuted the offense.