Dominican Republic man gets 5-10 years in local drug case

LEWISTOWN – A Dominican Republic man who has been in the United States illegally and recently pleaded guilty to two felony drug charges was sentenced to state prison on Friday

Eddy A. Santana, 42, was sentenced to serve five to 10 years in a state correctional facility and may be eligible for early release, at which time it’s expected he will be deported back the Dominican Republic.

Prior to being sentenced, Santana apologized to the people of Lewistown and to the court.

Judge Rick Williams said Santana has spent a large portion of his life in prison, which his attorney John McCullough also noted.

“He has a rather lengthy criminal history … he did 10 years and five months in Maine on a federal case,” McCullough said.

Mifflin County District Attorney Dave Molek said in past statements that the estimated street value of the large quantity of heroin and cocaine seized was between $100,000 and $175,000, depending on how it would have been cut. Police also seized several fake identification cards and over $8,000.

At first, law enforcement officials were unsure of the defendants true identity until they performed a Live Scan on him at the Mifflin County Correctional Facility, at which point the INS contacted local officials and revealed his true identity. Santana is known to have at least nine alias.

Police first became aware of Santana when a confidential informant led them to a Tina Strunk, 48, who transported a tote with a large quantity of narcotics in it to a Lewistown Borough residence, according to court documents. Strunk has also been charged with several felonies in connection with the drug seizure, according to documents.

Strunk was interviewed by Lewistown Police Officer Jeremy C. Poff and told him the drugs belonged to Santana. Santana was then interviewed by Mifflin County Detective Craig Snyder and he admitted the drugs were his, according to court documents.