A Lancaster-based cocaine dealer in state prison received a significant break on his sentence, despite requests from prosecutors that it stay as is.
Hector Velez, 42, was sentenced in 2013 to 8-to-20 years for dealing cocaine out of a city jewelry store.
Last year, a Pennsylvania Superior Court ruling that deemed mandatory minimum sentences “unconstitutional” prompted the case to come back for re-sentencing.
At a recent hearing, Lancaster County President Judge Dennis Reinaker ordered a 4-to-8-year term.
Assistant District Attorney Travis S. Anderson argued the Superior Court’s ruling doesn’t change what Velez did.
Velez was charged with making large-quantity sales of cocaine to an undercover officer. He sold the drugs out of a backroom of a North Prince Street jewelry store, where he worked.
Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman has been working with the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association to reinstate some mandatory minimum terms. Stedman mentioned Wednesday the Velez case as a reason why some mandatories are appropriate.
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