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News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 25, 2002

Lowell Man Sentenced To 5 Years In Federal Prison For Cocaine Trafficking

Boston, MA… A Lowell man was sentenced yesterday afternoon in federal court for being involved in a widespread conspiracy to sell cocaine in the Lowell area from late 1997 through May 1999.

Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Field Division, Edward F. Davis, Chief of the Lowell Police Department and United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan, announced today that ARLINDO ESPINOLA, a/k/a "Eddie," age 37, formerly of 222 Stackpole Street and other addresses in Lowell, was sentenced by Senior U.S. District Judge Edward F. Harrington to 5 years' imprisonment, to be followed by 5 years of supervised release. ESPINOLA also faces the prospect of deportation to his native Portugal upon completion of his federal prison sentence. ESPINOLA pleaded guilty on November 21, 2001 to an indictment charging him with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and with six counts of distribution of cocaine.

At the earlier plea hearing, the prosecutor told the Court that had the case proceeded to trial the government's evidence would have proven that ESPINOLA was one of several persons who were routinely selling cocaine in the vicinity of two private social clubs, the Portuguese-American Civic League, known as the "Reds Club", and the Portuguese-American Club, known as the "Blues Club", in the Back Central section of Lowell from at least late 1997 through May 1999. In early 1998, a cooperating witness who was working with the DEA introduced an undercover agent to ESPINOLA inside the Reds Club. In January and February 1998, the undercover agent purchased multiple ounces of cocaine on five separate occasions in and around the Reds Club, which is located at 512 Central Street in Lowell. The evidence would have revealed that ESPINOLA worked with a co-defendant named Jorge Conde and that he and Conde were regularly supplied with cocaine by another co-defendant named Jose Picanso. In May 1999, ESPINOLA and Conde sold 4 ounces of cocaine to a different undercover agent in the same area.

In December 1999, a federal grand jury returned a multiple-count indictment against ESPINOLA and seven co-defendants charging them with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and with multiple counts of distribution of cocaine. ESPINOLA and other defendants were arrested in Lowell in February 2000. ESPINOLA has been held without bail in federal custody since his arrest by DEA. Co-defendant Jose Picanso, age 47, of 26 Kinsman Street, Lowell, was convicted by a trial jury in July 2000, and was later sentenced to 10 years and 2 months in federal prison. Co-defendant Jorge Conde, age 36, of 22 Cady Street, Lowell, pleaded guilty in June 2000 and was sentenced in May 2001 to 5 years in federal prison. The other defendants who were arrested also pleaded guilty and were sentenced to various terms of imprisonment.

The DEA and the Lowell Police investigated the case. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Pelgro.

Please direct any inquire to Special Agent Anthony J. Pettigrew, Public Information Officer, New England Field Division at 617-557-2138

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