Fitchburg Man Pleads Guilty to Wide-Ranging Drug Trafficking Conspiracy
BOSTON – A Fitchburg man pleaded guilty today in federal court in Worcester to his role in a wide-ranging fentanyl, heroin, crack and cocaine trafficking conspiracy.
Pedro Baez, 52, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin, 400 grams or more of fentanyl, 280 grams or more of cocaine base (commonly known as crack cocaine) and 500 grams or more of cocaine and one count of distribution and possession with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl, 100 grams or more of heroin and cocaine. U.S. District Court Judge Timothy S. Hillman scheduled sentencing for May 18, 2021.
According to charging documents, following a fatal fentanyl overdose in September 2018, law enforcement began investigating a drug trafficking organization in the Fitchburg area and discovered that Baez led the organization along with his son, Anthony Baez. Court-authorized interceptions of phones used by Baez and other members of the drug trafficking organization and its suppliers revealed that Baez worked with Anthony Baez, and others, to distribute a fentanyl and heroin mixture, cocaine, and crack cocaine on a regular basis to individuals in the Fitchburg area, some of whom resold all or a portion of those drugs to their own customers.
Baez and 17 others were charged in a superseding indictment on July 22, 2020. Anthony Baez pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 13 years in prison in December 2020. Defendants Valerie Lucier and Shastaalena Blair have also pleaded guilty to the superseding indictment.
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 Police Department, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Lunenburg Police Department also provided valuable assistance. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alathea Porter of Lelling’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit is prosecuting the case.
This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.
The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The remaining defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.