Boston Man Convicted By Federal Jury of Heroin Trafficking
BOSTON – A Boston man was convicted yesterday in federal court in Boston of his role in a heroin conspiracy operating in Norwood.
Luis Guzman-Ortiz, 25, was convicted by a federal jury of one count of conspiring to distribute heroin. Guzman-Ortiz has been released pending his sentencing hearing, which has not been set.
In early 2015, federal agents conducted a wiretap investigation of Eddyberto Mejia-Ramos, a regional heroin trafficker operating in Taunton. In May and June, Soto-Peguero was identified as Mejia-Ramos’ primary source of supply. On July 6, 2015, calls were intercepted during which Mejia-Ramos asked Soto-Peguero to send him something “heavy,” and Soto-Peguero replied that his girlfriend, Mercedes Cabral, was on her way. Federal agents then conducted surveillance outside Soto-Peguero’s Norwood apartment and observed Cabral exit the apartment and drive towards Taunton. Law enforcement officers stopped Cabral and found 10 blocks of heroin (918 grams) protruding from her purse.
After seizing the heroin, law enforcement attempted to secure Soto-Peguero’s apartment in anticipation of obtaining a federal search warrant; they knocked on the door and announced the presence of police, but no one answered. As officers began a forced entry through the front door, there was a disturbance. According to evidence provided at the April 2018 trial of Soto-Peguero, Soto-Peguero fired a gunshot through the front door. Fortunately, no one was hurt.
This evidence was not presented at Guzman-Ortiz’s trial after the Court found it was irrelevant to Guzman-Ortiz’s case and potentially prejudicial.
Law enforcement eventually gained entry and arrested Soto-Peguero and Guzman-Ortiz. The next day, officers executed a search warrant at the home and seized two kilograms of heroin, two hydraulic drug presses, and other evidence that showed the apartment was being used to prepare and package heroin. A firearm was also seized, and forensic testing revealed that Soto-Peguero had fired the weapon.
Soto-Peguero was convicted by a federal jury in April 2018 of drug offenses involving over a kilo of heroin. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 2, 2018. Cabral pleaded guilty and was sentenced in May 2017 to time served (22 months), and Mejia-Ramos pleaded guilty and was sentenced in August 2016 to 90 months in prison.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Field Division, made the announcement. Valuable assistance was provided by the Massachusetts State Police, the Massachusetts State Police Criminal Laboratory, the Norwood and Taunton Police Departments; and the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Theodore Heinrich of Lelling’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit prosecuted the case.