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BOSTON, Mass. - A Maine-based drug distributor was convicted today of arranging heroin and cocaine deals in Massachusetts. Andrew Symonevich, 33, of Waterville, Maine, was arrested by Massachusetts State Police, carrying a “fix-a-flat” tire sealant container, which was actually a specialized cannister with a screw-off bottom containing $3,000 worth of heroin.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Steven Derr, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration - Boston Field Division; and Massachusetts State Police Colonel Marian J. McGovern, announced that Symonevich was convicted by a jury sitting before U.S. District Judge George A. O’Toole of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine in Lawrence and elsewhere in 2008.

Evidence presented during the three-day trial proved that Symonevich was a Maine-based drug distributor and one of 149 people who bought over five kilograms of heroin and 40 kilograms of cocaine from a Lawrence-based drug trafficking organization. A federal wiretap investigation recorded calls made by Symonevich, who identified himself as “Dale’s man from Maine,” in which he negotiated and arranged heroin and cocaine deals with the leader of the Lawrence-based drug organization. Symonevich bought the cocaine and heroin in Massachusetts and distributed it in Maine as part of the conspiracy. During a vehicle stop by Massachusetts State Police, Symonevich was found driving his vehicle with the fix-a-flat tire sealant cannister in his lap. When asked why Symonevich had the cannister in his lap, he replied “You know, in case we get a flat tire.”

Judge O’Toole scheduled sentencing for December 14, 2010. Symonevich faces a minimum of five years imprisonment and a maximum of 40 years imprisonment, to be followed by at least four years of supervised release and a $4 million fine.

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Massachusetts State Police. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mendell and Cummings of Ortiz’s Drug Unit.


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