Dominican National Sentenced for Role in Lawrence-Based Heroin/Fentanyl Trafficking Scheme
BOSTON – A Dominican national was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Boston for his role in a heroin trafficking scheme operating in and around Lawrence.
Waner Manuel Lara, a/k/a Anibal Santiago-Torres, 34, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Indira Talwani to 65 months in prison and six years of supervised release. In October 2017, Lara pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of 100 grams or more of heroin and fentanyl and one count of possession with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin. In March and April 2016, Lara and three co-defendants were arrested and charged for their roles in the drug trafficking operation.
From about April 2015 to March 2016, law enforcement investigated the drug distribution activities of Ramon Baez and his associates in and around Lawrence. Baez obtained kilograms of heroin and cocaine from local suppliers and suppliers based in Mexico. One of Baez’s co-conspirators, Jose A. Rosario, supplied Baez with heroin, which Baez then repackaged for distribution.
Lara and another co-defendant, Edwin Soto, purchased heroin and fentanyl from Baez. On Dec. 29, 2015, law enforcement officers seized $99,200 in drug proceeds from Soto, intended for Baez. On March 19, 2016, agents seized from Lara 140 grams of heroin and fentanyl supplied to him by Baez. In total, the Court found Lara responsible for more than 300 grams of heroin and/or fentanyl.
Baez was sentenced in June 2017 to 121 months in prison; Rosario was sentenced in September 2017 to 22 months in prison; and Soto was sentenced in January 2018 to four years in prison.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and Michael J. Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Field Division, made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine Ferguson of Lelling’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit prosecuted the cases.