Skip to main content
Press Release

Dominican National Pleads Guilty to Fentanyl Trafficking

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts

BOSTON – A Dominican national pleaded guilty in federal court in Boston yesterday to fentanyl trafficking in connection with the seizure of approximately 20 kilos of heroin and 10 kilos of fentanyl. A firearm and $20,000 were also recovered.  

Joel Cortorreal a/k/a Angel Javier Morell-Oneill, 33, a Dominican national previously residing in Methuen, pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl, one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, one count of unlawful reentry of a deported alien and one count of being an illegal alien in possession of a firearm and ammunition. U.S. District Court Judge Leo T. Sorokin scheduled sentencing for Sept. 8, 2021.

According to the charging documents, an investigation into Cortorreal began in June 2018 and culminated with a traffic stop on Pleasant Valley Street in Methuen on Oct. 22, 2018. During the top, officers seized two kilos of fentanyl from the front passenger seat of the vehicle Cortorreal was driving.  

Law enforcement executed a search warrant at Cortorreal’s residence in Methuen and seized approximately 20 kilos of heroin, over eight kilos of fentanyl, drug distribution paraphernalia and a loaded firearm.

Cortorreal faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years and up to life in prison, a mandatory minimum of five years and up to a lifetime of supervised release, and a fine of up to $10 million. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on the United States Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell; Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Field Division; and Colonel Christopher Mason, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police made the announcement today. Valuable assistance was provided by the Somerville, Medford, Boston, Ipswich and Arlington Police Departments. Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine Ferguson of Mendell’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit is prosecuting the case.

Updated April 30, 2021

Drug Trafficking