Dominican National Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Distribute Fentanyl
Defendant faces 10 year mandatory minimum sentence
BOSTON – A Dominican national pleaded guilty today in federal court in Boston to his role in a conspiracy to distribute fentanyl.
Sergio Manuel Lara-Suarez, a/k/a Sergio Manuel Lara-Juarez, 42, a Dominican national residing in Lawrence, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl; five counts of distribution of 40 grams or more of fentanyl; and two counts of distribution of fentanyl. U.S. District Court Judge Indira Talwani scheduled sentencing for May 16, 2019. Lara-Suarez was charged by superseding indictment in November 2018.
Between September 2017 and March 2018, Lara-Suarez conspired with others to distribute significant quantities of fentanyl or a mixture containing both fentanyl and heroin to undercover law enforcement officers. During that period, Lara-Suarez met with undercover agents 11 times and sold them over 430 grams of fentanyl. Lara-Suarez has been in state custody since August 2018.
The charge of conspiring to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and up to life in prison, a minimum of five years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $10 million. The charge of distribution of 40 grams or more of fentanyl carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and no greater than 40 years in prison, at least four years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $5 million. The charge of distribution of fentanyl carries a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, at least three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $1 million. Lara-Suarez will be subject to deportation proceedings. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; and Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Division, made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Estes of Lelling’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit is prosecuting the case