ALBANY – An Amsterdam man arrested last year in a drug case that involved a false-bottomed Clorox container has been sentenced to more than three years in federal prison, U.S. Attorney’s officials said.
Edwin Rodriguez, 31, admitted earlier to possessing and intending to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin mixed with fentanyl.
District Judge Mae A. D’Agostino sentenced him Monday to 3 years, 1 month in prison, long with four years of supervised release.
Rodriguez was arrested in May 2019 after a traffic stop conducted by Amsterdam police, according to an affidavit filed in federal court then by a Drug Enforcement Administration special agent. He was then charged federally.
Amsterdam officers pulled Rodriguez over and learned that he did not have a valid driver’s license. When asked if he had any drugs on him, he handed over what he said was marijuana, the affidavit read.
But he also allegedly kept reaching for his pants and officers soon found a heat-sealed bag containing heroin mixed with fentanyl, officials said. He later admitted he was stopped while going to meet a drug customer, officials said.
The DEA then obtained a search warrant for his Amsterdam apartment, where investigators determined he resided. Inside, agents found the Clorox bottle with a hidden compartment. Inside the compartment was a clear plastic bag containing small, pink-colored envelopes of heroin mixed with fentanyl, officials said.
Close by the false-bottom bottle, investigators also found items connected to the drug trade, including unused similar envelopes, a powder that is a known cutting agent and a vacuum or heat sealer with two roles of plastic wrap, the affidavit read.
The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Amsterdam Police Department and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Barnett.