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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 10, 2020

Dominican National Pleads Guilty to Fentanyl Trafficking

BOSTON – A Dominican national pleaded guilty today in federal court in Boston to fentanyl trafficking.

Cristian Lara Diaz, 44, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl and five counts of distribution of and possession with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl. U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton scheduled sentencing for Jan. 12, 2021. Lara Diaz has been in federal custody since his arrest on August 29, 2019.

According to court documents, Lara Diaz and, allegedly, his co-defendant conspired to distribute fentanyl and engaged in five separate controlled sales of fentanyl to a cooperating witness in Boston between April 2017 and January 2018.

The charge of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 400 grams or more of fentanyl carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and up to life in prison, at least five years of supervised release and a fine of up to $10 million. The charges of distribution of and possession with the intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl carry a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and up to 40 years in prison, at least four years of supervised release and a fine of up to $5 million. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The operation was conducted by a multi-agency task force through the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), a partnership between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply. More information on the OCDETF program is available here: https://www.justice.gov/ocdetf/about-ocdetf.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; and Boston Police Commissioner William Gross made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen W. Hassink of Lelling’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit is prosecuting the case.

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

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated September 10, 2020