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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Fitchburg Woman Sentenced for Role in Fentanyl, Heroin, Crack and Cocaine Conspiracy

BOSTON – A Fitchburg woman was sentenced today in federal court in Worcester for her role in a wide-ranging fentanyl, heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine trafficking conspiracy.

Amanda Ford, 35, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Timothy S. Hillman to two years in prison and three years of supervised release. On Dec. 3, 2021, Ford pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, heroin, cocaine and cocaine base.

According to court documents, following a fatal fentanyl overdose in September 2018, an investigation began into a drug trafficking organization (DTO) in the Fitchburg area led by co-conspirators Pedro Baez and Anthony Baez. Beginning in July 2019, intercepted electronic communications between Pedro and Anthony Baez, and other members of the DTO, revealed that Ford worked with Pedro and Anthony Baez to distribute a fentanyl and heroin mixture and crack cocaine on a regular basis to individuals in the Fitchburg area who then redistributed that mixture to others.

Over the course of the investigation, 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 was seized. Ford was responsible for distributing over 150 grams of fentanyl.

Ford was charged along with 17 others in July 2020. Ford is the eighth 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. Three of the remaining defendants, Pedro Baez, Branny Taveras and Hector Matos have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.

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 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 Rollins’ Narcotics and 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 indictment 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 March 22, 2022