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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 11, 2021

Dominican National Sentenced to Eight Years in Prison for Distributing Crack Cocaine and Illegal Re-Entry

BOSTON – A Dominican national, most recently residing in Lawrence, was sentenced yesterday for distribution of cocaine base and illegal re-entry of a deported alien.

Juan Ramon Fernandez, 56, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Patti B. Saris to eight years in prison and four years of supervised release. He will be subject to deportation proceedings following completion of his sentence. In December 2020, Fernandez pleaded guilty to a distribution of 28 grams or more of cocaine base (“crack cocaine”) and illegal re-entry of a deported alien.

Between July 2017 and October 2017, law enforcement conducted an undercover investigation of Fernandez’s drug dealing business that he operated in Lawrence. In October 2017, investigators recorded a controlled purchase of two ounces of crack cocaine from Fernandez.

Fernandez was arrested on Aug. 19, 2019. At the time of his arrest, law enforcement learned that Fernandez had been deported in 2011 after previously serving eight years in state prison for trafficking cocaine.

Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell and Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division made the announcement today. The FBI’s North Shore Gang Task Force conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Philip Cheng of Mendell’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit prosecuted the case.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Immigration
Component(s): 
Updated March 11, 2021