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News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 2, 2003

Beverly Heroin Dealers Sentenced to 15 Years in Federal Prison

MAY 2--Boston, MA….A Beverly man was sentenced today in federal court for distributing heroin in the Beverly area in 2002.

Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration in New England; John Cassola, Chief of the Beverly Police Department and United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan announced today that Juan H. MERCADO, a/k/a "Mario," age 31, formerly of 91 Cabot Street, Beverly, Massachusetts, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Rya W. Zobel to 15 years and 8 months in prison, to be followed by 6 years of supervised release. MERCADO pleaded guilty on March 19, 2003, to a multiple-count indictment charging him with conspiracy to distribute heroin and distribution of heroin.

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 in early 2002, the DEA and the Beverly Police Department began an investigation of MERCADO, who was living in an apartment at 91 Cabot Street in Beverly. During the investigation, an undercover police officer was introduced to MERCADO and made several controlled purchases of heroin from him in the Cabot Street area from February to April 2002. The purchases were recorded on tape by DEA and certain purchases were captured on videotape. On the evening of April 11, 2002, DEA agents and Beverly police officers arrested MERCADO as he waited in the Cabot Street area to sell heroin again to the undercover officer. A federal search warrant was then executed at MERCADO's apartment.

MERCADO has been held in federal custody since his arrest in April 2002. At today's sentencing hearing, the government urged the Court to sentence MERCADO as a "career offender" under the U.S. Sentencing guidelines, which substantially increase the penalties for repeat drug traffickers. Based on MERCADO's three prior convictions in state courts for heroin distribution during the 1990's the Court agreed with the government and imposed the sentence of 15 years and 8 months in prison required by the Guidelines.

The case was investigated by U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in cooperation with the Beverly Police department.


Contact: S/A Anthony J. Pettigrew, (617)557-2138

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