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Press Release

Boston Man Sentenced for Distributing Cocaine and Fentanyl

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts

BOSTON – A Boston man was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Boston for distributing cocaine and fentanyl.

James L. Hardy, 53, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns to four years in prison and three years of supervised release. Based on Hardy’s criminal history, the Government recommended a sentence of 151 months in prison. On Jan. 3, 2019, Hardy pleaded guilty to one count of distribution of cocaine and fentanyl. Hardy was arrested on Aug. 23, 2018, and has been in custody since.

“Fentanyl is killing thousands of Americans a year,” said U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling, “and by now every drug dealer knows it. The government asked for a sentence of 151 months for this defendant because he has 15 prior convictions, three prior drug dealing convictions, and two of those convictions were federal. This is a defendant who has previously served a 15 year prison term for drug trafficking, and yet remained undeterred. We disagree with the judge’s sentence of 48 months.”

On May 21, 2018, Hardy sold an “8-Ball” (3.5 grams) of cocaine base, commonly referred to as “crack” cocaine, and five grams of fentanyl to an individual working with law enforcement. The sale occurred in a car driven by Hardy in the parking lot of a supermarket in Roslindale. On July 1, 2018, Hardy again sold the same individual working with law enforcement crack and fentanyl. For each transaction, Hardy received $450 for the cocaine and fentanyl.   

Hardy has a lengthy criminal record dating back to 1979, including previous federal convictions. In 1996, Hardy was sentenced in federal court to 188 months in prison after being convicted of drug and firearm offenses. In 2017, Hardy was sentenced to “time served” (87 days) and 10 years of supervised release after being convicted of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and 100 grams or more of heroin. At the time of the offense for which Hardy was sentenced yesterday, he was still on supervised release stemming from his 2017 conviction.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Colonel Kerry Gilpin, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; and Boston Police Commissioner William G. Gross made the announcement. Valuable assistance was provided by the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney David G. Tobin of Lelling’s Major Crimes Unit prosecuted the case.

Updated April 9, 2019

Drug Trafficking