Truck Driver Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Trafficking 36 Kilos of Heroin into State that were Seized from his Rig by State Police

TRENTON –Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino announced that a truck driver who transported large quantities of heroin in his tractor-trailer was sentenced to state prison today for possessing 36 kilos of heroin that were seized in August 2016 by the New Jersey State Police on Interstate 78 in Warren County.

Oscar Franco, 59, of Chula Vista, Calif., was sentenced to 10 years in state prison, including three years of parole ineligibility, by Superior Court Judge H. Matthew Curry in Warren County.  Franco pleaded guilty on March 2 to first-degree possession of heroin with intent to distribute.

Deputy Attorney General Norma Garcia prosecuted the case and handled the sentencing for the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau. The charges stem from an investigation by the State Police Transportation Safety Bureau, Mobile Safe Freight Unit-Tactical North.

“The 36 kilos of heroin that Franco transported into New Jersey could have been cut, packaged and sold on the street for well over $10 million,” said Attorney General Porrino. “Every time we put a heroin trafficker like Franco in prison, we cut off a major supply line for this lucrative criminal market and save lives that otherwise would fall victim to his poison.”

“As a major transporter of heroin, Franco not only was driving addiction in New Jersey, he also was fueling the gun violence that accompanies street-level drug dealing,” said Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice. “We’ll continue to work with the New Jersey State Police and our law enforcement partners at all levels to ensure that heroin suppliers like Franco face lengthy prison terms.”

“Franco’s cache of heroin amounted to more than 1.5 million individual doses never hitting the streets,” said Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “Based on the large quantity of heroin seized and the resulting disruption of a major narcotic supply line, Trooper Dolinsky in all likelihood saved a life or at the very least prevented someone from becoming an addict.”  

Franco was arrested on Aug. 14, 2016 by a member of the State Police Mobile Safe Freight Unit who stopped his tractor-trailer on Interstate 78 in Greenwich Township to conduct a routine commercial inspection. The trooper noticed significant irregularities in Franco’s bill of lading and logbook. In addition, Franco’s itinerary from San Diego, California, to New Jersey included unexplained detours that were not consistent with cost-effective travel. An interior inspection revealed various crushed and dust-covered boxes containing outdated items. A duffel bag was visible in one of the boxes. The trooper obtained consent to search the trailer and discovered two duffel bags holding roughly 36 kilos of heroin wrapped in black tape. Franco has been held in the Warren County Jail since his arrest in lieu of $200,000 bail. 

Attorney General Porrino commended Trooper Brian Dolinsky, who made the arrest and seizure for the State Police Transportation Safety Bureau, Mobile Safe Freight Unit -Tactical North.

Defense Attorney: John V. McGuigan, Jr. Esq., Newton, N.J.

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