Dominican Man Pleads Guilty to Drug Trafficking and Money Laundering
BOSTON – A Dominican man residing in Lawrence pleaded guilty yesterday in U.S. District Court in Boston in connection with a heroin, cocaine and fentanyl trafficking organization with ties to Mexico.
Gilberto Alicea, 31, of Bani, Dominican Republic and Lawrence, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin, cocaine and fentanyl and one count of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments. In July 2015, Alicea was arrested and charged.
At the time of Alicea’s arrest, he was helping to count over $500,000 in cash that was going to be transported by a co-conspirator to the Mexican border for payment of nine kilograms of fentanyl . The fentanyl was seized while en route from California to Lawrence, where it was destined for the drug trafficking organization led by Alicea’s co-defendant, Jerri Martinez-Tejeda. On at least five occasions, Alicea deposited $8,000 in proceeds from the drug trafficking operations to help launder the profits. Alicea was also involved in the preparation, packaging and delivery of drugs.
In June 2016, Martinez-Tejeda pleaded guilty to the same charges. Co-defendants Yoelly Carmenatty, Lily Solis and Michael Bate have also pleaded guilty and are scheduled to be sentenced in the fall of 2016 with the exception of Solis, who was previously sentenced to 33 months in prison.
The narcotics charge provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, a minimum of three years and up to a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of $1 million. The money laundering charge provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $500,000 or twice the value of the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Michael J. Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Boston Field Division; and Lawrence Police Chief James X. Fitzpatrick, made the announcement. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Kanwit of Ortiz’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit.