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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 30, 2020

Dominican National Charged with Selling Fentanyl that Led to Victim’s Fatal Overdose

BOSTON – A Dominican national was indicted yesterday in federal court in Boston with distributing fentanyl resulting in death.

Bernardito Carvajal, 27, a Dominican national most recently residing in Haverhill, was indicted on one count of distribution of fentanyl and cocaine resulting in death and one count of distribution of fentanyl. On July 31, 2019, Carvajal was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with one count of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl. He has been in custody since that time.

On or about June 12, 2018, Carvajal sold fentanyl and cocaine in Lawrence to a 26-year-old victim, who died of an overdose after using the drugs. Carvajal continued to sell fentanyl after the fatal overdose, including another sale on July 31, 2019.

“The opioid epidemic has inflicted an unprecedented toll of addiction, suffering, and death on our communities,” said United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling.  “And no one knows this better than the dealers victimizing those struggling with addiction. We will aggressively prosecute every single case where we can link a drug dealer to an overdose death.”

“The state of Massachusetts is faced with a fentanyl crisis unlike ever before,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Brian D. Boyle. “Those responsible for distributing this lethal drug and for contributing to loss of life for those battling this addiction need to be held responsible for their actions. In response to the ongoing opioid epidemic, DEA and its local, state and federal partners are committed to bringing to justice those that distribute this poison.”

The charge of distributing fentanyl resulting in death provides for a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years and up to life in prison, a minimum of five years of supervised release and a fine of up to $10 million. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The case arose from “Devil’s Highway,” a 10-week coordinated enforcement operation in the Merrimack Valley. The enforcement operation was a coordinated effort by federal, state and local partners to focus on drug distribution activity in the City of Lawrence and between Lawrence and New Hampshire.

U.S. Attorney Lelling, DEA SAC Boyle and Andover Police Chief Patrick Keefe made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elysa Wan and Stephen Hassink of Lelling’s Criminal Division are prosecuting the case.

The details contained in the indictment are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Opioids
Component(s): 
Updated January 30, 2020