Latin American Idol Star Charged With Drug Smuggling

By Chrisanne Grise 02/22/13

A once-beloved Dominican singer is under investigation for possible links to drug cartels.

She had heroin in the soles of her shoes.
Photo via

Once-revered Latin American Idol winner Martha Heredia may have fallen from grace after being charged with drug smuggling. The 22-year-old singer was arrested on Wednesday, after attempting to board a plane to New York with 2.9 pounds of heroin hidden in the heels of three pairs of shoes in her suitcase. The Dominican Republic native gained massive popularity in her home country after winning the popular TV talent show in 2009. "The politicians are lucky you're not running for president because you would beat them all," said then-president Leonel Fernandez. But in late 2010, Heredia's image was dealt a major blow after she hit and killed a teenage boy with her car. Following the most recent charges, police are investigating whether she is working as a mule for drug traffickers. If found guilty, she could be sentenced to over 10 years in jail. Prosecutor Francisco Dominguez issued a statement saying: "It's very sad that young people who have so much promise, who were bestowed by life with all the grace in the world and an unquestionable talent, because of ambition, bad advice or simply to obtain money see themselves in situations like this."

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Chrisanne Grise is a multimedia journalist specializing in health/fitness, lifestyle, travel, bridal, and music. Her work has appeared in print and online for publications such as Martha Stewart Weddings, Parents, FitnessMagazine, Fisher Price, Bridal Guide, Scholastic's Choices,,, and more. She is the Senior Editor at The New York Times Upfront. Follow her on Linkedin and Twitter.