By Joe Beck
What began as a traffic stop on Interstate 81 is ending with a New York City woman facing a possible sentence of 7 1/2 years in prison after she agreed last week in federal court to plead guilty to attempting to sell more than 100 grams of heroin.
The defendant, Yulissa Eusebio, agreed to enter the plea in U.S. District Court in return for the prosecution dropping a charge of conspiring to sell 1,000 or more grams of heroin. A second charge in the superseding indictment also accused her of possessing 1,000 grams or more of heroin with intent to sell.
The case against Eusebio and a co-defendant, Jose Augusto Ferreira-Flores, began on Dec. 21 at 11:30 a.m. when a state trooper stopped their 2005 Nissan car on I-81 near Edinburg, according to an affidavit signed by Houston Smith, a special agent with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
The affidavit states the trooper stopped the defendants' northbound car after determining it was traveling 78 mph in a 70 mph zone and also was equipped with tinted windows in violation of state law.
The affidavit states Eusebio was driving and gave the trooper a New York driver's license before admitting the license contained false information. She then told the trooper she had lost her license before changing her story and admitting that her real license was not lost, according to the affidavit.
The trooper then ran a check on her driver's license that showed it was suspended, the affidavit states.
Another state trooper with a dog trained to detect drugs saw the dog alerting the presence of drugs around the car and a search ensued, according to the affidavit.
Later in the day, after the two defendants had been taken into custody, Ferreira-Flores said he had been paid $500 by someone name "Pinocho" to drive the Nissan to Houston and drop it off at an unspecified location, according to the affidavit.
Ferreria-Flores admitted to picking up the car later and driving it back from Houston to New York City, the affidavit states. The affidavit also accuses him of admitting that he knew 2 kilograms of a drug he believed to be cocaine were hidden in an ice cooler in the car at the time of the traffic stop.
The outcome of related charges filed against Ferreria-Flores remains to be determined.
Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or firstname.lastname@example.org