DANBURY, Conn. -The accomplice of a Scarsdale man found guilty of kidnapping and murder in a 2009 marijuana heist was sentenced to a decade behind bars Thursday.
Heriberto Gonzalez, 31, of the Bronx, was sentenced to 10 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for participating in events surrounding the February 2009 murder of Edward Rivera, 37, also of the Bronx, according to a press release from David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut.
A Scarsdale man, Andrew Zayac , was found guilty of kidnapping resulting in death and murder during the commission of a robbery, among other charges, and is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 21, at which time he faces a mandatory term of imprisonment of life on the murder charges.
According to the evidence presented during the separate trials of Gonzalez and Zayac in early 2009, Zayac negotiated the purchase of 68 pounds of marijuana from Edward Rivera. Zayac and Rivera arranged to meet Feb. 8, 2009 to complete the transaction. On that date, Zayac kidnapped Rivera from the Bronx for the purpose of robbing him of the marijuana, according to the U.S. attorney's office.
During the course of the kidnapping and robbery, Rivera was shot twice and died as a result of the gunshot wounds, the U.S. attorney said, and Zayac and Gonzalez then dumped Rivera's body in Danbury, Conn., drove back to the Bronx and burned Zayac's car.
On Feb. 28, 2009, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Zayac's residence and seized approximately 61 pounds of marijuana. Zayac was arrested at that time. Gonzalez was arrested on June 17, 2009.
On June 21, 2011, a jury found Gonzalez guilty of one count of possession with intent to distribute marijuana, three counts of destruction/concealment of evidence and one count of conspiracy to destroy/conceal evidence. The jury found Gonzalez not guilty of kidnapping, murder, robbery and firearms charges related to Rivera's death.
On July 22, 2011, a jury found Zayac guilty of one count of kidnapping resulting in death, one count of murder during the commission of a robbery, one count of interference with commerce through the use of violence, one count of possession with intent to distribute marijuana, one count of conspiracy to use or possess a firearm in furtherance of crimes of violence and a narcotics trafficking offense, three counts of destruction/concealment of evidence and one count of conspiracy to destroy/conceal evidence. The jury found Zayac not guilty of one count of premeditated murder.
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