Jockey Norberto Arroyo Jr. will serve 2 1/2 years in a New York state prison for cocaine possession, a Saratoga County judge ruled July 2.
The sentencing came nearly one year after Arroyo, 33, was arrested by city police in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., following an Aug. 16 traffic stop during which officers found 11.9 grams of cocaine in the rider’s sock. He had been riding regularly during the 2009 season at Saratoga.
Arroyo pleaded guilty to charges of illegal possession in March and was originally scheduled to receive his sentence May 7. His appearance in court was delayed for two months, however, because he was arrested in Kentucky on a Florida warrant for an alleged domestic violence dispute.
The jockey was incarcerated in Florida while he dealt with hearings regarding the domestic violence issue, the charges for which were ultimately dropped.
District Attorney James A. Murphy III originally intended to charge Arroyo with bailjumping after he missed his May 7 court date, but July 2 told the Saratogian he was unable to make that charge since Arroyo was in police custody May 7 and could not appear due to circumstances “beyond his control.”
Judge Jerry A. Scarano sentenced Arroyo to 2 1/2 years in state prison and two years under post-release supervision.
The jockey began his career in 1999 and has 991 winners with earnings of more than $37 million. His license has been suspended indefinitely by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board.