The leader of a Charlotte area heroin distribution ring was sentenced Tuesday to 36 years in federal prison.
In February, a federal jury found Jose Ivan Hernandez, 34, of Mexico, guilty of one count each of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute heroin and conspiracy to launder money.
Prosecutors said Hernandez oversaw all aspects of the ring that trafficked hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of the drug in 2013.
The heroin was imported from Mexico to California and then shipped to Hernandez in Charlotte via the U.S. Postal Service, court records show. The case involved at least 10 kilograms of heroin, prosecutors said.
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Hernandez also was responsible for “collecting” on drug debts. If he didn’t receive payment for a drug shipment fast enough, prosecutors said, he sent the recipient of the heroin multiple threatening texts.
“They are going to mess you up,” the messages warned. “They have people on the way, and they’re going to go for you.”
Hernandez has been in the Mecklenburg County jail since his arrest in October 2014, records show. He will be transferred to a federal prison once one is designated.