East Coast Drug Lord Turns to Jesus from Christian News Journal
What you are about to read is not fiction, nor a Netflix crime drama. For former East Coast drug lord-turned pastor Herman Mendoza, crime was a reality. Mendoza shared his testimony about the criminal world, money, drug cartels, prison and falling into the very abyss of hell.
Mendoza’s experience in the drug underworld prepared him to reach out to Jesus. Now, as a pastor, he uses his background to bring Scriptures to life.
“When I first started when I was a youngster, it was to feed my habit, and I got caught up with some gang activity and started to consume drugs. And then eventually I got involved in selling small amounts of cocaine.”
Selling became more enticing than drugs, especially when money was tight. “I went to tell my brother, ‘hey, you know, I sort of want in because I need quick money.’”
With access to $1.2 million in cash through his brother, Mendoza began dancing with the devil. He started distributing, organizing and bringing hundreds of kilos of cocaine into America. There were other “people in places where they would pick up the narcotics and bring us the money. I would also be invited to go to different parties where there would be celebrities there all over the nation; they knew what I was doing,” he said.
This high-life ended when he was arrested with 31 kilos of cocaine.
The courts sent him to Queens (New York) detention center. He was then transferred to Rikers Island, located behind LaGuardia airport. It was the first conviction as an adult, so he was eligible for “Shock,” which is a military-style program to transform criminals into productive citizens, or he could do three years in the penitentiary.
One day during prison chapel, he presented a petition to the Lord:
“‘I promise you that I will stop drinking alcohol for six months. Lord, you know, save my life and change me. You know, I want to get right with my family, and I want to do the right things.’ But it was more out of selfishness and God knew what I was thinking in my mind,” he admitted.
After being released and months into sobriety, “I went into a bar and drank with a friend. At the time his uncle ran the Colombian cartel in Colombia. And he was controlling over a ton of cocaine, all across the Eastern seaboard.”