Mother, Son Receive Lengthy Prison Sentence’s For Roles In Family Heroin Business
A mother and son who shared a heroin trafficking business were sentenced to lengthy terms in state prison this afternoon.
Lodi residents Lydia Cruz, 55, and Irving Sanchez Jr., 31, each pleaded guilty to drug and money laundering charges earlier this year, according to Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa. Cruz received a 10-year sentence, while Sanchez received a five-year term.
The two teamed with Cruz’s husband, William Diaz, to run a large drug dealing business that brought in thousands of dollars a week, authorities said.
“Our investigation revealed that that Diaz was commuting to Manhattan, where he was selling numerous bundles of heroin per day,” Division of Criminal Justice Director Ellie Honig said in a statement.
“Cruz would package the heroin in single-dose glassine bags that were grouped in bundles and bricks for distribution by Diaz and Sanchez. This really was a family affair.”
After their arrests in 2011, authorities seized more than five ounces of raw heroin, around $240,000 in cash, a small amount of cocaine and packaging materials from the family’s home. Another $146,000 was recovered when a warrant for Diaz and Cruz’s vehicle was executed.
Diaz, who has also pleaded guilty to drug distribution and money laundering charges, is scheduled to be sentenced in state court on May 17.
Cruz and Sanchez’s sentencing came just one day after prosecutors in Bergen and Passaic County held a news conference aimed at drawing attention to what they say is a growing heroin problem in North Jersey.