BOSTON - A Southbridge man was sentenced yesterday in federal court for narcotics distribution, firearms offenses and tax fraud charges.
Junior Alexander Lopez, 31, was sentenced as a career offender by U.S. District Judge F. Dennis Saylor, IV to 21 years and 10 months in prison, to be followed by eight years of supervised release. Lopez was also ordered to pay over $1 million in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service. Lopez previously pleaded guilty to two federal indictments, charging him with one count of possession with the intent to distribute crack cocaine; one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm; one count of conspiracy to defraud the government with respect to tax claims; and 16 counts of false, fictitious and fraudulent tax claims.
On Nov. 20, 2010, a search warrant was executed at 28 Pleasant Street in Southbridge. During the search, over 69 grams of crack cocaine, a Ruger .357 Magnum revolver with an obliterated serial number, over $1,136 in cash, two digital scales, plastic sandwich bags, a firearm and paperwork in Lopez’s name were recovered. Lopez has previous felony convictions which qualified him as a career offender under the federal sentencing guidelines.
During 2008 and 2009 Lopez also participated in a conspiracy to defraud the Government by filing tax returns which falsely claimed the First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit. Lopez filed these false tax returns after obtaining identity information from third parties under false pretenses and creating false W-2 forms using fictitious employers. The scheme resulted in over $1 million in losses to the Government.
In March 2012, Lopez’s co-defendant, Christopher Proe, 27, of Michigan was sentenced to 92 months in prison for his participation in the scheme. Both Proe and Lopez were ordered to pay $1,084,280 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.
United States Attorney Carmen Ortiz; Kevin Lane, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Boston Field Division; Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation - Boston Field Division; William Offord, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston; Cortez Richardson, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Inspector General; Chief Daniel R. Charette of the Southbridge Police Department; and the South Worcester County Counter-Crime and Drug Task Force made the announcement today. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cory S. Flashner of Ortiz’s Worcester Branch Office and Assistant U.S. Attorney Fred M. Wyshak, Jr. of Ortiz’s Public Corruption and Special Prosecutions Unit.