Drug-dealing couple facing prison terms

Akex­an­der Rivera and his wife, Ileana Vid­al, did busi­ness in North Phil­adelphia, au­thor­it­ies claim, but they called Ta­cony home. The couple are un­likely to re­turn home any­time soon after their con­vic­tions last week on nu­mer­ous fed­er­al drug charges.

Rivera (a.k.a. “Reds), 29, of the 4100 block of Barnett St., will be sen­tenced to a man­dat­ory life-in-pris­on term, while Vid­al (a.k.a. “Di­ana”), 25, will face a man­dat­ory min­im­um of 10 years when they next ap­pear be­fore U.S. Dis­trict Judge Juan R. Sanc­hez. Rivera will be sen­tenced on Feb. 29 and Vid­al on March 2.

Rivera was con­victed at tri­al of con­spir­acy, along with pos­ses­sion and dis­tri­bu­tion of co­caine, crack and heroin. He also was con­victed of gun pos­ses­sion in fur­ther­ance of a drug traf­fick­ing crime. Vid­al was con­victed of con­spir­acy only.

Rivera led what in­vest­ig­at­ors labeled the Al­ex­an­der Rivera Nar­cot­ics Dis­tri­bu­tion Or­gan­iz­a­tion (AR­DO) in and around the in­ter­sec­tion of In­di­ana Av­en­ue and Lawrence Street, as well as oth­er areas of the city, from Feb­ru­ary 2006 to Septem­ber 2010. The drug ring dealt in co­caine, crack, heroin and PCP.

An in­dict­ment re­leased by the U.S. At­tor­ney’s Of­fice last Novem­ber named 15 ad­di­tion­al co-de­fend­ants in the case, all of whom have pleaded guilty to vari­ous roles in the or­gan­iz­a­tion. Sev­er­al co-de­fend­ants test­i­fied against Rivera and Vid­al at their tri­al.

The drug ring used vi­ol­ence to pro­tect and main­tain its drug ter­rit­ory, which in­cluded va­cant prop­er­ties and res­id­ences in North Phil­adelphia, au­thor­it­ies said. That’s where the traf­fick­ers stashed and dealt drugs to cus­tom­ers.

Spe­cific­ally, the charges al­leged that on Sept. 26, 2006, Rivera wounded an in­no­cent bystand­er while en­gaged in a shootout with a rival deal­er; on Aug. 14, 2007, one co-de­fend­ant and two oth­ers kid­napped and tor­tured a per­son who owed drug money to Rivera; and on Dec. 24, 2009, Rivera and a co-de­fend­ant hired a third per­son to shoot a rival drug deal­er.

The in­dict­ment says au­thor­it­ies re­covered three hand­guns, am­muni­tion and more than $19,000 in cash from the Barnett Street res­id­ence, but does not state that drug trans­ac­tions took place there. ••

You can reach at noreply@bsmphilly.com.

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