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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 23, 2020

Eighteen Charged in Wide-Ranging Fentanyl, Heroin, Crack, and Cocaine Conspiracy

BOSTON – Eighteen individuals from Massachusetts and elsewhere were charged in a superseding indictment unsealed today in federal court in Boston on charges related to a wide-ranging fentanyl, heroin, crack, and cocaine trafficking conspiracy.

Eight individuals, Pedro Baez, 50, of Fitchburg; Anthony Baez, 31, of Fitchburg; Amanda Ford, 33, of Fitchburg; Monica Troche, 27, of Fitchburg; Branny Taveras, 37, of Fitchburg; Shastaalena Blair, 39, of Fitchburg; Jessica Hughes 28, of Gardner; and Valerie Lucier, 30, of Fitchburg, were previously arrested and charged in a November 2019 indictment. Pedro and Anthony Baez are both detained pending trial. The superseding indictment unsealed today charges eight additional individuals who were arrested: Pablo Vidarte Hernandez, 46, of Fitchburg; Adiangel Paredes, 33, of Leominster; Kevin Martinez, 41, of Fitchburg; Ricky Figueroa, 29, of Fitchburg; Pedro Villot-Santiago, 30, of Fitchburg; Ivan Torres, 30, of Fitchburg; Jonathan Villot, 29, of Fitchburg; and Hector Matos, 29, of Whitinsville. Two other individuals were also indicted and remain at large.

The November 2019 indictment charged the defendants with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, 400 grams or more of fentanyl, 100 grams or more of heroin, and 28 grams or more of cocaine base (crack). Anthony Baez and Monica Troche were also charged with five counts of distribution and possession with intent to distribute and distribution of fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine.

The superseding indictment adds defendants Pablo Vidarte Hernandez, Adiagel Paredes, Kevin Martinez, Ricky Figueroa, and Pedro Villot-Santiago to count one and alleges the conspiracy involved one kilogram or more of heroin, 280 grams or more of cocaine base, 400 grams or more of fentanyl, and 500 grams or more of cocaine. The superseding indictment charges Pedro Baez and Anthony Baez with distribution and possession with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl, 100 grams or more of heroin, and cocaine. In addition, the superseding indictment charges Ricky Figueroa, Pedro Villot-Santiago, Ivan Torres, Jonathan Villot, Hector Matos, and two others with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 280 grams or more of cocaine base and 500 grams or more of cocaine.

The charge of conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin, 280 grams or more of cocaine base, 400 grams or more of fentanyl, and 500 grams or more of cocaine provides for a sentence of up to life in prison, a term of supervised release of at least three years and up to life,  and a fine of up to $10 million. The charge of conspiracy to distribute 280 grams or more of cocaine base and 500 grams or more of cocaine provides for a sentence of up to life in prison, a term of supervised release of at least four years and up to life, and a fine of up to $10 million.  The other drug trafficking charges provide for a sentencing range of five years to a lifetime in prison, a term of supervised release of at least four years and up to life, and a fine of between $5 million to $10 million. Due to a previous conviction of a qualifying drug trafficking offense, Pedro Baez faces enhanced mandatory minimum sentences. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Commissioner Carol Mici of the Massachusetts Department of Correction; and Colonel Christopher Mason, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police made the announcement today. The Fitchburg and Lunenburg Police Departments, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and Massachusetts State Police provided valuable assistance. Lelling’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit is prosecuting the case. 

The operation was conducted by a multi-agency task force through the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), a partnership between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply. More information on the OCDETF program is available here: https://www.justice.gov/ocdetf/about-ocdetf.

The details contained in the indictment are allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated July 23, 2020