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Dealer Gets 13 Years For Selling Heroin In Clifton That Killed Two Users

Angel Hernandez
Angel Hernandez Photo Credit: COURTESY: Passaic County Prosecutor

CLIFTON, N.J. – An Elmwood Park man must spend more than 11 years in state prison before being eligible for parole for selling the heroin that killed two Passaic County men four months apart.

Angel Hernandez, 39, was sentenced Friday in Paterson to 13 years in prison on two convictions of strict liability for a drug-induced death, 85% of which he must serve without parole under the state’s No Early Release Act.

Hernandez supplied the heroin that killed 24-year-old Eric Somelsa of Paterson in March 2015 and Daniel Renois, 23, of Clifton two years ago this month.

Both doses were sold in Clifton, authorities said.

Strict liability for a drug-induced death is a first-degree charge that carries a 20-year sentence if the defendant is tried by a judge or jury.

Hernandez, instead, accepted a deal from prosecutors in which he admitted his guilt in exchange for a lighter sentence – sparing the expense of a trial, as well as the emotional toll it could have taken on the victims’ loved ones.

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