Alfredo Herrera visits a group of people who stood by him for 16 months

Sunday, November 13th 2005, 6:29 pm
By: News On 6

The News on 6 first told you last week about a Bartlesville businessman found not guilty of money laundering and drug charges. Sunday, Alfredo Herrera visited a group of people who stood by him throughout his 16-month ordeal.

News on 6 reporter Ashli Sims visited the Happy Hill Church near Ramona.

Happy Hill Church was truly a happy place Sunday morning. Spirits a little lighter, songs a little more joyful, all because prayers were answered. One of their own is back in the fold.

Pastor Bob Boyle: "I am holding in my hand an examiner-enterprise from bartlesville today and they have printed a headline that says bartlesville restauranteur set free federal judge orders Herrera free from jail..”

Alfredo Herrera set foot in his home church a free man. A warm welcome after a year and a half long nightmare. Herrera, owner of Alfredo's restaurants and a check cashing business was accused of money laundering and drug charges. He was recently found not guilty and set free after 70 weeks in jail.

Alfredo Herrera: "There is no words to express my happiness to be in church to be with these people who love me so much and I love them and to be free ya'know."

Alfredo Herrera says he broke records in jail for mail, 24 pieces in one day many from his church.

Pastor Bob Boyle: “He's been a friend of the church and so we just thought we were going to stand with him, never even thought of not standing with him."

The congregation even took up a special offering to help the Herrera's get back on their feet.

Rita Boyle: “He's the kind of man that come Thanksgiving he would give free dinners to people who had nothing. So when a guy has that kind of heart, it just seems right that when he's in problems that we go to him and that's what we tried to do."

Alfredo Herrera has been a member of Happy Hill Church for more than 30 years. He says he's not sure what's next. But he plans to catch up on lost time with his family and visit his mother in Mexico.