Dominican national sentenced for a 20-year old felony

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SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A Dominican national man has been sentenced to over five years in prison for drug trafficking.

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, 43-year-old Jose Rafael Hidalgo admitted that between 1994 and 1999, he conspired with Luzerne County resident David Drozdowski and others to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine.

Hidalgo supplied Drozdowski with cocaine, which he admitted was between five and 15 kilograms, which Drozdowski and others then distributed in and around Luzerne County.

Hidalgo was arrested on August 25th, 1999, and, after entering an agreement with the United States to plead guilty, he was granted conditional release. At some point between October 12, 1999 and February 2000, while residing in New Jersey under supervised pre-trial release, Hidalgo removed an electronic monitoring device and absconded.

On February 22, 2000, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania issued an arrest warrant for Hidalgo. The United States Marshals Service took charge of the investigation to locate and apprehend Hidalgo, and, in 2016, confirmed that Hidalgo was living in the Dominican Republic.

He was extradited to the United States in May 2019 and was sentenced on September 24, 2020.

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