BETHLEHEM, N.Y. (NEWS10) – New York State Police found over 2,000 bags of heroin during a routine traffic stop in Bethlehem.
There are plenty of places a smuggler could hide drugs in a standard car but one New York City drug smuggler got a little more creative than this.
“For a routine traffic stop you never know what you’re going to find,” Alex Scher, ADA Assigned to Case, said.
Hector Gomez, 20, was pulled over in April during a routine traffic stop.
“When he stopped the car he had no idea. He just thought he was doing a routine search because after the defendant indicated that he had marijuana in the car,” Scher said.
Gomez had far more than marijuana in the car. He was attempting to smuggle bags of heroin into the Capital Region.
“The total value, the street value of the heroin that was located was approximately $20,000. Coming up from NYC where if those drugs were to be sold there they would only have a value of about $10,000. So driving north a couple hours would necessarily increase the profit you make by almost 100 percent.”
Police say he was hiding that haul beneath a trap door he created in an internal compartment.
“The trap was accessible by way of a trunk mechanism that one released opened up a compartment that had been installed in the vehicle. Inside of it was bags of heroin, a quantity of marijuana, and an oxycodone pill.”
The DA obtained a guilty verdict late Friday afternoon and Gomez is now facing up to nine years in prison.
His sentencing is scheduled for December.
The DA’s office says it has seen an increase in heroin cases, but it is still very unusual to uncover this amount of drugs in a vehicle with a built-in trap system.