A simple traffic stop shut down a heroin trafficking operation, and a Troy resident is looking at a long time in jail for distribution of heroin. 41-year-old Troy resident Mario Figuera-Portalatin pleaded guilty yesterday to conspiring to distribute at least 10 kg of heroin.

According to the DEA apparently, 41-year-old Figueroa-Portalatin was traveling back-and-forth from Troy to New York City to purchase and sell heroin. He admitted in court yesterday that he traveled for two years to New York City to purchase between 500 g and 1 kg of heroin that he bought back to Troy to package and sell.

Figueroa-Portalatin was stopped by police in Troy on March 30, 2020. During that traffic stop, police were able to confiscate a canvas bag that was sitting on the passenger floor of his vehicle. When officers searched the bag they discovered approximately 200 grams of heroin inside the bag.

Police officers were then able to obtain a search warrant for Figueroa-Portalatin’s apartment and another apartment in the same building. The search warrant turned up $34,001 in drug trafficking proceeds. They also confiscated a Hi-Point model JHP .45 caliber pistol.

Chief United States District George Glenn T. Suddaby will sentence Figueroa-Portalatin on December 8, 2020. He faces a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison. He also faces post-release supervision of at least five years.

DEA Albany and Rensselaer County Sheriff's Office investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Barrett will be prosecuting the case.

Mr. Figueroa-Portalatin is certainly facing a long prison sentence. We will have to check back in December to see how he makes out.

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