NYC woman found with 499 bags of heroin during Hancock traffic stop, police say

A woman driving from the Bronx to the Delaware County village of Sidney was found with 499 bags of heroin when she was pulled over for a traffic violation on Saturday, July 25, police say.

Left: Sonia Ramirez. Photo via the Delaware County Sheriff's Office.  

Fifty-three-year-old Sonia Ramirez of Ottawa, Illinois and New York City was pulled over for speeding on Route 17 in the village of Hancock at 12:30 a.m. on Saturday, according to a press release from the Delaware County Sheriff's Office.

While talking to Ramirez, Sheriff's Deputy Kyle Karcher allegedly smelled marijuana in her car. When he ran her driver's license, he found that it had been suspended.

Karcher arrested Ramirez for speeding and for operating a vehicle with a suspended license.

Then sheriff's deputies and Ozzie, a drug-sniffing police dog, searched Ramirez's belongings.

In her purse, they say they found small amounts of cocaine and marijuana. In her car, they say they found a trove of drugs: 499 glassine envelopes containing heroin, worth close to $10,000 in street value.

Ramirez was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, unlawful possession of marijuana and throwing refuse on the highway. She was arraigned in the town of Delhi and held on $75,000 cash bail. 

Craig DuMond, the undersheriff of Delaware County, said in a press release that the heroin had been "destined for the streets of the village of Sidney." 

“Deputy Karcher’s keen sense drug interdiction as part of a speeding violation prevented these drugs from being distributed in Delaware County," DuMond said.

Heroin trafficking is a growing problem in the Catskills, with the drugs often traveling from New York City to local distribution points in villages like Sidney.