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LI Couple Arraigned On Charges They Were Driving Baby In Car Filled With Heroin

Nicholas Hernandez

Nicholas Hernandez and his female companion were allegedly caught driving with a car full of heroin and a baby onboard. (Credit: Suffolk County Police)

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CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A Long Island couple accused of driving their baby in a car full of heroin has been arraigned.

As WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported from Central Islip, Erica Santana and Nicholas Hernandez were both in handcuffs as they faced the judge at First District Court on Wednesday.

Suffolk County Police pulled over their car in Ronkonkoma on Tuesday after they were seen driving erratically. When police approached the car, they found a strong odor of marijuana. Hernandez, 21, told police he had just smoked some marijuana.

Further inspection of the car turned up 180 packets of heroin, which prosecutors said the couple intended to sell.

The 5-month-old baby boy was taken away from the couple and is currently being cared for by Suffolk County Child Protective Services workers, Hall reported.

Hernandez was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal contempt, and endangering the welfare of a child, police said.

Santana, the driver, faced the same charges – along with criminal impersonation and several traffic violations, police said.

Santana’s mother was screaming and crying as she left the courtroom, Hall reported.

His attorney would only say the drugs were not found on Hernandez, while Santana’s lawyer said she had no clue there was heroin in the vehicle.

Hernandez was held on $152,000 bond. Santana was held on $60,000 bond.

He is also accused of smoking pot in the car and punching Santana in the face as she was driving, Hall reported.

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