BEDMINSTER, PA – An out-of-state couple has been sentenced to prison after trafficking more than $5.6 million worth of heroin, cocaine, and fentanyl through Bucks County.
According to the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office, Christian Ochoa, 29, of Laredo, Texas, and Edith Tomasa Rodriguez Cardenas, 28, of Huntington Park, California, were both sentenced to state prison; Ochoa to 7 ½ to 15 years and Rodriguez Cardenas to eight to 16 years.
Police records show Ochoa and Rodriguez Cardenas were arrested on Jan. 29, 2021, after an observant Bedminster Township patrol officer spotted Ochoa driving a Jeep Wrangler swerving in his lane.
That sparked an investigation by the Bedminster Township Police Department and the Bucks County Detectives Drug Strike Force, who seized one kilogram of eight kilograms of fentanyl, one kilogram of heroin and one kilogram of cocaine from the Jeep.
“That bust led to the search of a tractor-trailer owned by Ochoa, which was parked at a truck stop in Lehigh County. Detectives found an additional eight kilograms of fentanyl and one kilogram of heroin inside,” the D.A.’s office said.
Court records described their enterprise:
While Ochoa transported and delivered the drugs, Rodriguez Cardenas facilitated the transport and trafficking of the drugs and was the “money broker” in the organization, Stricker said. McHugh found both guilty on all charges against them and sentenced them to state prison.
In addition to the 19 kilograms of drugs, two searches led to the recovery of more than $43,000 in cash, a handgun. six cellphones, additional drugs, including almost $29,000 in Percocet pills, and four Jesus Malverde candles, known as the Patron Saint of narco-traffickers. T
“The case was an example of great instinctual police work, some hard work and collaboration among law enforcement,” District Attorney Matt Weintraub said.
“He’s from Texas. She’s from California. Jesus Malverde, the patron saint of narco-traffickers was not looking out for them in Pennsylvania, but, thankfully, the police were,” Weintraub said. “Thanks to great police instincts and hard work, these two will now be residents of the Pennsylvania state prison system for the next decade or so.”