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California woman sentenced in connection with Buffalo drug case

A California woman who was convicted in federal court in Buffalo of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin, fentanyl and cocaine and money laundering conspiracy was sentenced Wednesday to serve 72 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, 44-year-old Sonia Hernandez, of Norwalk, was hired in 2007 by a staffing agency in Los Angeles that between 2011 and 2013 transitioned from a legitimate business to one involved in illegal trafficking of narcotics.

From January 2013 to September 2015, prosecutors said, Hernandez sold quantities of fentanyl, cocaine and heroin.

Prosecutors said that, on two occasions, Hernandez transported shipments of cocaine and heroin to Western New York and in May 2014 drove a rental vehicle with another defendant charged in the case from Los Angeles to Buffalo.

Eight kilograms of cocaine was hidden inside the rental vehicle, prosecutors said.

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