U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Pennsylvania
October 1, 2014

Judge Sentences New Jersey Man to 24 Years in Prison for Conspiring to Distribute Heroin

PITTSBURGH—A New Jersey resident has been sentenced in federal court to 24 years in prison on his conviction of one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

United States District Judge Mark R. Hornak imposed the sentence on Rafael Cabrera, 36, of Passaic, NJ. On May 23, 2014, a federal jury had convicted Cabrera, after a four-day trial, of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin.

According to information presented to the court, Cabrera distributed between 1,500 and 2,500 bricks of heroin into the Western District of Pennsylvania. Each brick of heroin contains 50 stamp bags, which each retail for between $6 and $10. Cabrera sold this heroin to a Pittsburgh-based dealer, who provided the heroin to lower-level drug deals. The proceeds from the heroin sales were then remitted to Cabrera after the heroin was distributed.

Prior to imposing sentence, Judge Hornak highlighted the seriousness of Cabrera’s crime and the damage heroin inflicts on society in general and the populace of the Western District of Pennsylvania in particular. The judge searched the record but could find almost no mitigating evidence in Cabrera’s favor. Accordingly, given the magnitude of Cabrera’s heroin trafficking, and the length of his criminal record, which escalated as Cabrera aged, the court sentenced Cabrera to 288 months in prison, followed by 10 years of supervised release.

Assistant United States Attorney Eric S. Rosen prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

U.S. Attorney Hickton commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the City of Pittsburgh Police, and the Pennsylvania State Police for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Cabrera.

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