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Press Release

Dominican National Pleads Guilty to Unlawful Re-Entry Following Alleged Involvement in Overdose Death

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

BOSTON – A Dominican national pleaded guilty today to unlawful re-entry of a deported alien. After reentering the United States within months of being removed, the defendant was charged with a heroin-related offense and was in possession of a phone that had been used in a drug transaction with an individual who died of an apparent overdose. 

Joel Perez Matos, 35, who resided in Boston, pleaded guilty to unlawfully re-entering the United States after being deported. Perez Matos will be sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Indira Talwani on Nov. 19, 2020. He has been detained since his arrest in April 2020 and will be subject to deportation following his sentence.   

Perez Matos unlawfully re-entered the United States after being deported in December 2019. He had previously been removed in February 2016, and had unlawfully returned to the United States later that year. 

On March 22, 2020, within a few months of having been removed from the United States, Perez Matos was arrested by local law enforcement in Stow and charged with a heroin-related offense. At the time of his arrest, Perez Matos was in possession of a cell phone that had been used the previous day to set up a drug transaction with a Massachusetts resident. On March 22, 2020, that resident died of an apparent drug overdose. When arrested, Perez Matos presented police with an out-of-state driver’s license in a fake name.

Perez Matos faces a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on the United States Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and Todd Lyons, Field Office Director, Enforcement and Removal Operations, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Boston, made the announcement today. The Stow Police Department also provided valuable assistance.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Bill Abely, Deputy Chief of Lelling’s Major Crimes Unit, is prosecuting the case.

Updated August 27, 2020