SUBSCRIBE

‘I do it because I love him,’ says school van driver accused of driving boyfriend to heroin drug deal

By Globe Staff 

FRAMINGHAM — It was for love, she said.

The van driver for special needs students allegedly told Framingham police that she did not make any money from the drug deal her boyfriend completed after she drove him in the van to Cushing Memorial Park.

Advertisement

“ ‘I don’t benefit from it,’ ” Rudencia Montes said, according to police. “ ‘I do it because I love him.’ ”

Montes, 43, was arraigned Monday in Framingham District Court, where she pleaded not guilty to charges of possession of heroin, selling heroin near a park, and conspiring to violate drug laws. She was ordered held on $5,000 bail, and her next court date is Dec. 13.

Montes was driving a minivan registered to the ACCEPT Education Collaborative in Natick, and had already dropped off the students when she was arrested Friday morning.

She has since been fired from the job.

“Although no students were present or involved, the alleged conduct is of great concern to us; the parents of the students who were transported by this driver have been notified,’’ Marcia J. Berkowitz, the group’s executive director, said in a statement. “The well-being of our students is paramount, and we will continue to take all steps needed to provide them with safe and effective transportation to and from school.”

Advertisement

“No students were involved,” Berkowitz said in an e-mail. “She was on her personal time.”

According to a police report filed in court, Montes said she knew her boyfriend, Jose Gonzalez, sold drugs but that “she tries not to get involved.”

The report states that Montes said she picked Gonzalez up from the Framingham MBTA train station Friday morning and took him in her school van to the park where police allege he sold heroin to a 33-year-old Framingham woman, Corrine Gentile.

Montes and Gonzalez were arrested by police shortly after the transaction around 9:40 a.m. Friday and both appeared in the Framingham court Monday where they pleaded not guilty to drug-related charges.

The police report states that a Framingham police officer working a private detail on Dudley Road had noticed Montes driving the white minivan with Gonzalez in the passenger seat. The officer saw the minivan pull into a parking spot nearby, and then five minutes later, a black Nissan Altima pulled up and parked beside the minivan, the report states.

Gonzalez then got out and handed a white envelope to the driver of the Altima, later identified as Gentile, the report states.

After witnessing this suspicious transaction, the officer got out of his vehicle and asked Gentile what he had handed her, the report states. After refusing to show her hands to the officer, she threw a small baggie containing a brown substance on the ground, the report states.

Backup officers and a K-9 were called to the scene. Police reported finding a second baggie on the driver’s seat of Gentile’s vehicle.

Police searched the school minivan and found a small baggie containing a brown powdery substance in the center console and $730 in cash and white envelopes in the glove box. Police also recovered $1,494 in cash from Gonzalez’s pockets.

Police said Gonzalez was carrying a Massachusetts driver’s license issued to Juan Miranda-Ortiz, and initially he was arrested and charged under that name, even though Montes told police his real name is Jose Gonzalez. At the arraignment in Framingham District Court, his lawyer told the judge that his client’s full name is Jose Gonzalez Vizcaino. He now faces several charges, including possession of heroin, conspiring to violate drug laws, selling heroin near a park, identity fraud, and misleading a police officer. His bail was set at $25,000 cash.

Gentile was charged with conspiracy and possession of heroin. She was released on $200 cash bail.


Emily Sweeney can be reached at esweeney@globe.com
Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney.