GREENSBURG, Pa. — Two New York men believed to be part of the largest fentanyl bust in state history made along the Pa. turnpike were in a Westmoreland County courtroom Thursday.
Hector Taveras and Juan Gomez were pulled over on July 8 on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
According to Pennsylvania State Police, they found more than 3.5 pounds of straight fentanyl tucked away in a secret compartment.
Police believe the fentanyl was headed to Pittsburgh to be cut, packaged and sold on the streets of western Pennsylvania.
The federal indictments against both men were just handed down on Tuesday.
Their attorneys said the federal charges now create a bigger challenge.
“It’ll be prosecuted in federal court and I believe the district attorney will withdraw the prosecution but until they do, we should’ve had a hearing," said Tim Dawson, Gomez's attorney said.
“That will supersede these charges and these charges will be dismissed and we’ll be doing the same exact thing in federal court rather than state court here in Westmoreland County," David Shrager, Taveras' attorney said.
Both attorneys are hoping they can prove their clients are innocent.
“They were secretly packaged in a car that was not his. He was simply driving the car, he stopped when signaled, he gave permission to search the car, all indicia of an innocent man," Dawson said.
“He’s been a member of his union for 10 years, he was employee of the year last year, he’s a hardworking man, he has a loving family," Shrager said.
© 2020 Cox Media Group