HARRISBURG—Attorney General Josh Shapiro and Luzerne County District Attorney Sam Sanguedolce today announced the arrest of Ferdinand Cuevas-Herida, for attempting to arrange the murders of several witnesses tied to previously charged crimes against him for sexual offenses involving female members of his family.
“This defendant was determined to use any means necessary to avoid facing the consequences of his actions, going as far as to attempt to arrange for his own family members to be killed,” said Attorney General Shapiro. “My office is committed to protecting all Pennsylvanians, including those who take the brave step of being a sworn witness in a court of law. I am grateful for the work that the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the Pittston Police Department did in this investigation and the work they do every day to keep our communities safe.”
Earlier this month Cuevas-Heredia contacted an undercover officer and indicated that he wanted three people killed, following up with a letter detailing his plan. The defendant’s mother delivered an envelope of cash to the undercover officer as payment for the planned killing of the witnesses.
Cuevas-Heredia has been charged with three counts of Criminal Solicitation to Commit Homicide; two counts of Criminal Attempt to Commit Witness Intimidation; and two counts of Criminal Use of a Communication Device for phone and mail.
Luzerne County District Attorney Sam Sanguedolce expressed his gratitude to Detective Charles Balogh and Pittston City Chief Kyle Shumosic stating, “The officers’ diligent work uncovering this heinous scheme may have saved a life and hopefully will result in substantial additional prison time for defendant.” DA Sanguedolce also noted, “I hasten to add our thanks to Attorney General Shapiro and his office who have been working with investigators and are leading the prosecution on this arrest and four more of this defendant’s cases. The Attorney General’s willingness to assist our office when resources are needed serve greatly to help our united fight for justice in Luzerne County.”
The sexual assault case and these new allegations will be prosecuted by Deputy Attorney General Amanda McCool. All charges are accusations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
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