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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Fitchburg Woman Sentenced in Wide-Ranging 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, crack and cocaine trafficking conspiracy.

Monica Troche, 29, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Timothy S. Hillman to 30 months in prison and three years of supervised release. On Nov. 30, 2021, Troche 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 (crack cocaine) and 500 grams or more of cocaine. Troche also pleaded guilty to five counts of distribution and possession with intent to distribute and distribution of fentanyl, heroin and 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 phone communications by the DTO and its suppliers revealed that Troche worked with Anthony Baez to distribute a fentanyl and heroin mixture and cocaine. On six separate instances, between May and September 2019, Troche assisted Anthony Baez selling a fentanyl and heroin mixture as well as cocaine to a cooperating witness. Specifically, on Sept. 24, 2019, Troche and Anthony Baez sold a cooperating witness 500 grams of fentanyl and 500 grams of cocaine.  Additionally, in August and September 2019, multiple calls between Troche and Anthony Baez were intercepted during which they discussed establishing a drug supply and customer base for Troche. At the time of her arrest in November 2019, over 58 grams of a mixture containing fentanyl and heroin were seized from Troche’s residence. In total, Troche was responsible for distributing over one kilogram of fentanyl and 500 grams of cocaine.

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.

Troche was charged along with 17 others in July 2020. Troche is the fourth 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 May 17, 2022.

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 15, 2022