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Justice News

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

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Four Indicted for Heroin Trafficking

BOSTON – Three Lawrence men and one Leominster man were indicted today in federal court in Worcester in connection with a heroin trafficking scheme.

Carlos Rodriguez, 42; Ernesto Rodriguez, 48; and Joshua Sanchez, 27; all of Lawrence, and Jorge Burgos, 39, of Leominster, were indicted today on charges of conspiring to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute in excess of 100 grams of heroin and fentanyl. On Feb. 7, 2017, the defendants were arrested; Burgos and Sanchez have been detained since, and Carlos Rodriguez and Ernesto Rodriguez were released on conditions. 

According to court documents, as a result of various wiretaps capturing the defendants’ discussions of sales and purchases of heroin/fentanyl, in November and December 2017, law enforcement agents conducted surveillance of Burgos purchasing heroin for resale from Carlos Rodriguez, Ernesto Rodriguez, and others. In addition, on Dec. 19, 2017, law enforcement stopped Sanchez after he left Carlos Rodriguez’s home and found Sanchez in possession of approximately 60 grams of suspected heroin/fentanyl. The following day, after intercepted communications suggested that Carlos Rodriguez would be delivering 50 grams of heroin to Burgos at his residence in Leominster, agents conducted a stop of the vehicle Carlos Rodriguez was driving and recovered approximately 50 grams of suspected heroin and/or fentanyl. Further investigation led to the recovery of at least 100 additional grams of suspected heroin and fentanyl from Ernesto Rodriguez. It is further alleged that intercepted communications captured Carlos Rodriguez discussing with Burgos how agents had stopped him on the way to Burgos’ residence and captured him discussing with another individual where to hide a firearm from authorities.

The charge of conspiring to distribute in excess of 100 grams of heroin provides for a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and up to 40 years in prison, at least four years and up to a lifetime of supervised release, and a fine of up to $5 million. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Michael J. Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Boston Field Division; Raymond Moss, Acting Inspector in Charge of the United States Postal Inspection Service; Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey; Colonel Kerry A. Gilpin, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Worcester Police Chief Steven M. Sargent; Leominster Interim Police Chief Michael Goldman; Milford Police Chief Thomas J. O’Loughlin; and Leicester Police Chief James J. Hurley made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Grady of Lelling’s Worcester Branch Office is prosecuting the case.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Drug Trafficking
Updated April 12, 2018