The California man arrested on heroin charges in Effingham County last September has pleaded guilty to possession with the intent to distribute. The charges against 45-year-old Conrad Valdez are at the federal level.
Valdez was pulled over on Interstate 70 near milepost 103. When police searched the semi-truck Valdez was driving, they found approximately 44 pounds, or 20 kilograms, of heroin. The street value of this amount of heroin was estimated at $3.5 million.
Following his arrest, Valdez was charged with Controlled Substance Trafficking and with Possession with Intent to Deliver a Controlled Substance. Each charge is a Class X felony, as the substance was heroin in an amount of more than 900 grams. With the guilty plea, the other charges are dropped. Valdez faces up to 10 years in prison.