Hitman, Conspirator Arrested

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A hitman, a love triangle and a change of heart. It sounds like something out of a soap opera, but it was the real-life scene in Westbury yesterday, as two men were arrested for conspiracy.

According to Nassau County police, Herberth Hernandez, 40, of Powells Lane, was hired by Hamen Gonzales-Cruz, 35, of Grant Street to kill a male victim for $500. The 30-year-old victim was targeted because Gonzales-Cruz was involved in an ongoing relationship with his girlfriend and Gonzales-Cruz wanted the victim “out of the picture.”

While in front of Uptown Restaurant Grill at 1005 Prospect Ave. on Monday, July 24 at 3:15 p.m., Hernandez confronted the victim, withdrew a handgun that was provided by Gonzales-Cruz and fired one shot into the ground and another into the air, neither of which injured the victim. Police say Hernandez had a change of heart, and was unable to shoot the 30 year old.

A 911 call was dispatched regarding the incident and upon police arrival, both Hernandez and Gonzales-Cruz were located behind an adjacent building where the officer observed Hernandez drop the gun. Hernandez was immediately placed into custody and a subsequent investigation at the scene led to the arrest of Gonzales-Cruz for his part in the plan.

Hernandez is charged with second-degree conspiracy, two  counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, first-degree reckless endangerment, criminal possession of a firearm and second-degree menacing.

Gonzales-Cruz is charged with second-degree conspiracy and second-degree criminal facilitation.

Both defendants will be arraigned in First District Court, Hempstead on July 25.

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