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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Dominican National Pleads Guilty to Federal Drug Conspiracy

BOSTON – A Dominican national pleaded guilty today in federal court in Worcester to his role in a heroin and cocaine conspiracy.

Ricardo Ortega Vasquez, 42, a Dominican national residing in New York City, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to distribute heroin and cocaine and to possess heroin and cocaine with the intent to distribute. U.S. District Court Judge Timothy S. Hillman scheduled sentencing for June 29, 2018. Ortega Vasquez and four co-defendants, Vito Nuzzolilo and Kristin Little, both of Worcester; and Thomas Walker and Melissa Rock, both of Pemaquid, Maine, were indicted in July 2017.

According to court documents, Nuzzolilo ordered sizable quantities of heroin and cocaine from a New York-based source of supply, and Ortega Vasquez transported cocaine and heroin from New York City to Nuzzolilo on behalf of the New York-based source of supply. On May 7, 2017, law enforcement seized more than a quarter-kilogram of cocaine from Ortega Vasquez in Worcester, shortly after Ortega Vasquez had taken a bus from New York City to Worcester.

In November 2017, Danielle Lloyd, 44, of Worcester, pleaded guilty to her role in this conspiracy and admitted to facilitating the shipment of heroin and cocaine from New York to Worcester on May 7, 2017, and another on April 25, 2017. Lloyd was sentenced on March 21, 2018, to time-served.

Ortega Vasquez faces a sentence of no greater than 40 years in prison, a minimum of four years and up to a lifetime of supervised release, a fine of $5 million, and will be subject to deportation proceedings upon completion of his sentence. 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; Michael J. Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Field Division; and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Bill Abely of Lelling’s Worcester Branch Office is prosecuting the case.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The remaining defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Opioids
Component(s): 
Updated March 27, 2018