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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 yesterday in federal court in Boston in connection with drug trafficking activities that resulted in seizures of over a half-kilogram of fentanyl.

Hilario Yogey Mota-Bernabel, 29, a Dominican national residing in New Bedford, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute  fentanyl and six counts of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of 40 grams or more of fentanyl. U.S. District Court Judge William G. Young scheduled sentencing for Sept. 8, 2021.

In May 2018, Yogey Monta-Bernabel was charged by complaint and arrested with his co-defendant brother, Miki Michael Mota-Bernabel. In September 2020, Miki Michael Mota-Bernabel was sentenced to five years in prison and two years of supervised release after pleading guilty.

Co-defendant Steven Marshall was arrested by federal authorities in June 2018. Marshall has since pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing.

In January and February 2018, investigators conducted surveillance of Marshall as he traveled to New Bedford to purchase fentanyl from his source of supply, Hilario Yogey Mota-Bernabel. After a fentanyl pick up on March 1, 2018, investigators stopped Marshall, searched his vehicle, and seized approximately 125 grams of fentanyl. 

Agents conducted four controlled purchases, of approximately 100 grams of fentanyl each, from Hilario Yogey Mota-Bernabel in March and April 2018. For one of the controlled purchases, Miki Michael Mota-Bernabel served as the courier, delivering over 100 grams of fentanyl to an undercover agent. Hilario Yogey Mota-Bernabel personally delivered the fentanyl on another occasion. 

A search of Hilario Yogey Mota-Bernabel’s residence and stash house in May 2018 resulted in the seizure of over 200 grams of suspected fentanyl, $12,395 and other drug-related paraphernalia. Court documents also indicate the Mota-Bernabels entered the United States illegally. 

The charge of conspiracy provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, a minimum of three years and up to a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of up to $1 million. The charges of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of 40 grams or more of fentanyl provides for a minimum of five years and up to 40 years in prison, a minimum of four years and up to a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of up to $5 million. The Mota-Bernabels will be subject to deportation upon completion of their sentences. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. 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 Barnstable Police Chief Matthew Sonnabend made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lauren A. Graber of Mendell’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit is prosecuting the case. 

Updated May 11, 2021

Drug Trafficking