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Press Release

Dominican National Sentenced for Heroin Trafficking

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

BOSTON – A Dominican national was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Boston in connection with trafficking heroin and fentanyl in Taunton and surrounding communities.


Manuel Romero-Gonsalez, aka Pablo, 40, who previously resided in Providence, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge George A. O’Toole Jr. to 66 months in prison and three years of supervised release. Romero-Gonsalez will face removal proceedings following the completion of his federal sentence. In January 2017, Romero-Gonsalez pleaded guilty to a superseding indictment charging him with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute and distribution of heroin and fentanyl.


In October 2015, Romero-Gonsalez was arrested and charged along with 24 others in connection with a heroin trafficking ring operating in southeastern Massachusetts; an April 2016 superseding indictment brought the number of defendants charged in the case to 26. These charges are the result of a 15-month investigation into heroin and fentanyl trafficking in Taunton, Mass., and surrounding communities, which have seen a steep increase in overdoses and related deaths since 2013. Romero-Gonsalez worked with his brother, Francis Gonsalez-Romero, his sister, Maria Elena Ocasio, Cory Nickerson and William Rodriguez to buy and sell heroin and occasionally fentanyl.


Seventeen of the 26 defendants charged in the superseding indictment have pleaded guilty (including Gonsalez-Romero, Ocasio, Nickerson and Rodriguez) and six, including Romero-Gonsalez, have been sentenced.


Acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb and Michael J. Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Boston Field Division, made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas E. Kanwit, Katherine Ferguson and Ann Taylor of Weinreb’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit are prosecuting the cases.

Updated April 26, 2017

Drug Trafficking