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Defendant pleads guilty to drug trafficking

  • George Flores, 39, of New York City, far right, pleaded guilty in Hampshire Superior Court on Tuesday to trafficking 18 to 36 grams of heroin, failure to stop for police, operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license and negligent operation of a motor vehicle. Gazette Photo/Emily Cutts



For The Recorder
Thursday, March 01, 2018

NORTHAMPTON — A New York City man was sentenced to state prison on Tuesday for trafficking fentanyl- and methamphetamine-laced heroin in August 2016.

In Hampshire Superior Court, George Flores, 39, changed his plea to guilty to trafficking 18 to 36 grams of heroin, failure to stop for police, operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license and negligent operation of a motor vehicle.

Flores changed his plea following a day of testimony Monday by a Franklin County Sheriff’s Department deputy, a Massachusetts State Police Drug Lab forensic scientist and a drug expert.

A tip regarding an illegal narcotics sale led police to Flores, and on Aug. 24, 2016, members of the Northwestern District Anti-Crime Task Force attempted to pull him over for a suspended license. Police first attempted to stop him on Routes 5 and 10 near the state police barracks on Northampton. As officers approached the vehicle, Flores was seen reaching into the car’s center console and then throwing something out the passenger side window before speeding off, Jeremy Bucci, chief trial counsel for the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office, said in court Tuesday.

Police pursued the vehicle through Hatfield and into Whately, where a town police officer deployed tire deflation devices known as “stop sticks,” Bucci continued. Flores was taken into custody at that point. Police found $2,120 in cash in his pockets.

Police later found the bag Flores tossed out of his window. It contained 110 grams of heroin that had been laced with fentanyl and methamphetamine, Bucci said. The drugs had an estimated street value of $110,000 and a “wholesale” value of between $5,000 and $8,000, Bucci told the court.

In arguing for a four- to five-year prison sentence, Bucci told Judge Richard Carey that was part of a compromise in which Flores waived his rights to appeal. Bucci added that Flores has shown some contrition and acceptance for the things he has done.

Defense attorney Colleen Currie, of Northampton, agreed with the prosecution’s recommendation for a four- to five-year prison sentence. Describing Flores as an intelligent man with a good heart, she said that while he was “part of the problem,” he was also a victim of it himself after becoming addicted to Percocet following a car crash.

Carey sentenced Flores to four to five years in state prison on the trafficking charge. Flores receives credit for 730 days already in custody.

He appeared in Franklin Superior Court Wednesday afternoon on an unrelated charge of assault and battery on a corrections officer. Flores allegedly threw a Walkman at another inmate during an altercation and accidentally hit the corrections officer, according to the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office.