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Press Release

Former Methuen Resident Pleads Guilty to Fentanyl and Cocaine Trafficking Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts

BOSTON – A former Methuen man has pleaded guilty in federal court in Boston to his role in a Lawrence-based drug trafficking conspiracy involving fentanyl and cocaine.

Pablo Rosario Pablo a/k/a “Angel Ayala Roque” a/k/a “Cuco,” 57, formerly of Methuen, pleaded guilty on Sept. 21, 2022 to one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute fentanyl, cocaine, and other controlled substances and one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and other controlled substances. U.S. District Court Judge Angel Kelley scheduled sentencing for Feb. 8, 2023.

According to court documents and information presented in court, in May 2020, law enforcement agents began investigating a Lawrence-based drug trafficking organization (DTO). Between December 2020 and December 2021, intercepted communications between members of the DTO and their associates revealed that the defendants allegedly distributed fentanyl and cocaine in and around the Merrimack Valley. Rosario Pablo was intercepted communicating in furtherance of drug trafficking. During a search of Rosario Pablo’s residence on Dec. 15, 2021, agents seized fentanyl, powder cocaine, crack cocaine, marijuana and steroids, as well as drug paraphernalia.

The charges of conspiracy to distribute fentanyl, cocaine, and other controlled substances, and possession with intent to distribute cocaine and other controlled substances carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a mandatory minimum of three years and up to a lifetime of supervised release, and a fine of up to $1 million.  Sentences are imposed by a federal district judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes that govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.

This 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. More information on the OCDETF program is available here:

United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins; Matthew B. Millhollin, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in New England; and Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Field Office, made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine Ferguson, Deputy Chief of Rollins’ Narcotics & Money Laundering Unit, is prosecuting the case.

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.

Updated September 26, 2022

Drug Trafficking