MERIDEN — A Waterbury man faces three years in prison after he pleaded guilty Thursday to engaging police in a pursuit and drug charges.
Christian Hernandez, 24, of 30 Meriden Road, pleaded guilty under the Alford Doctrine to two counts of possession of narcotics with intent to sell, engaging police in pursuit and three counts of violation of probation. Under the Alford Doctrine, a defendant does not admit guilt, but acknowledges the state has enough evidence for a conviction.
A plea deal calls for him to be sentenced to three years in prison. He is due back in court on March 7.
Hernandez was charged in late March with two counts of possession of narcotics, first-degree reckless endangerment, reckless driving, assault on police, engaging in pursuit, and motor vehicle offenses.
On Feb. 14, police on Springdale Avenue saw Hernandez driving a tan Lexus without a front license plate. Police pulled their cruiser next to Hernandez’s car, but he maneuvered around and accelerated on Springdale Avenue, according to his arrest warrant. Officers did not follow Hernandez because they said he was driving recklessly.
On March 18, police saw a tan Lexus being driven on Andrews Street and recognized the driver as Hernandez, the warrant said. As police turned around toward Hernandez, he started driving at a high rate of speed, passing other vehicles in the opposite travel lane. Police saw the Lexus about an hour and a half later on Chamberlain Highway and attempted to conduct a motor vehicle stop, but Hernandez fled from police and got on Interstate 691.
The drug charges stem from separate incidents on March 27, 2018 and Jan. 4, 2019. In the former incident, Hernandez was found with 4.3 grams of cocaine. In the recent incident, he was found with 10.4 grams of marijuana and about 3 grams of cocaine.