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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, September 19, 2022

Fitchburg Man Sentenced in Wide-Ranging Fentanyl, Heroin and Cocaine Conspiracy

BOSTON – A Fitchburg man was sentenced on Sept. 16, 2022 in federal court in Worcester for his role in a wide-ranging fentanyl, heroin, crack and cocaine trafficking conspiracy.

Kevin Martinez, 43, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Timothy S. Hillman to 22 months in prison and six years of supervised release. On March 23, 2022, Martinez pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and to 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.

According to court documents, following a fatal fentanyl overdose in September 2018, law enforcement began an investigation into a drug trafficking organization (DTO) in the Fitchburg area led by co-conspirators Pedro Baez and Anthony Baez. Intercepted communications identified the DTO’s cocaine, heroin and fentanyl suppliers, which included Martinez. In October 2019, Martinez delivered nearly 500 grams of cocaine to Pedro Baez.

Over the course of the investigation, agents seized over 1.8 kilograms of a heroin and fentanyl mixture, over 3.6 kilograms of cocaine and over 50 grams of crack cocaine, as well as a stolen, loaded handgun, drug manufacturing equipment and over $376,000.

Martinez was charged along with 17 others in July 2020. Martinez is the ninth defendant to be sentenced in the case. In December 2020, Anthony Baez was sentenced by Judge Hillman to 13 years in prison and five years of supervised release. Pedro Baez pleaded guilty on Feb. 2, 2021 and is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 3, 2022. Three of the remaining defendants, Branny Taveras, Jessica Hughes, and Hector Matos have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing. Four defendants have pleaded not guilty and are pending trial.

United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division; Commissioner Carol Mici of the Massachusetts Department of Correction; and Colonel Christopher Mason, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police made the announcement. 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 Rollins’ Narcotics & Money Laundering Unit prosecuted the case.

The operation is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Strike Force Initiative, which provides for the establishment of permanent multi-agency task force teams that work side-by-side in the same location. This co-located model enables agents from different agencies to collaborate on intelligence-driven, multi-jurisdictional operations to disrupt and dismantle the most significant drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations.

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.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated September 19, 2022