LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Officials announced a Luzerne County man has been sentenced to 40-80 years for multiple sexual assaults and for attempting to arrange the murders of witnesses tied to those crimes.

An investigation by the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office and the Pittston Police Department revealed that beginning in 2014, Ferdinand Cuevas-Heredia used violence to repeatedly sexually assault several young girls, including multiple minors as young as six years old.

Back in September 2022, investigators learned that Cuevas-Heredia was plotting to hire a hitman to kill the victims who were involved in his rape case while he was in prison.

On September 7, 2022, Cuevas-Heredia got in contact with an undercover trooper, posing as a hitman, stating he is willing to pay $20,000 and $8,000 as a down payment to kill the three victims, according to court documents.

As stated in the affidavit, arrangements were made for Cuevas Heredia’s mother to deliver the $8,000 down payment to the undercover trooper in a parking lot in Wilkes-Barre Township on September 16.

By threatening these witnesses, he threatened every person who has made the brave choice to be a witness in a court of law. My office will not, under any circumstances, tolerate this kind of behavior and we will fiercely prosecute any individual who uses violence and intimidation to attempt to influence our justice system.”

Acting Attorney General Michelle Henry

In addition to his sentence, Cuevas-Heredia was also classified as a sexually violent predator.