Four Men Arrested in Multistate Drug Trafficking Conspiracy
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts
Defendants allegedly trafficked fentanyl, cocaine base and methamphetamine throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire
BOSTON – Four men were arrested today for their alleged roles in a Lawrence-based drug trafficking conspiracy operating in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
Esaias Gill-Gonzalez, 31, of Lawrence, Mass.; Domingo Lugo Diaz, 28, of Lawrence, Mass.; Cote Colby, 27, of Derry, N.H.; and Keith Lane, 25, of Salisbury, Mass., were arrested on charges of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances involving fentanyl, cocaine base and methamphetamine. All four were detained following their initial appearance in federal court and will return on April 28, 2023 for a probable cause and detention hearing.
According to the charging documents, the investigation, which began in September 2022, intercepted communications on numerous cellphones between drug dealers operating in the Merrimack Valley areas of Massachusetts and New Hampshire. It is alleged that the defendants distributed fentanyl, cocaine base and methamphetamine, as well as counterfeit pills containing fentanyl.
During today’s arrests, fentanyl, cocaine, cocaine base and methamphetamine were seized along with a pill press and over $52,000 in suspected drug proceeds.
The charge of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, at least three years and up to a lifetime supervised release and a fine of $1 million. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.
United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins and Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division made the announcement today. The investigation was led by the FBI’s North Shore Gang Task Force. Valuable assistance was provided by Homeland Security Investigations; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; Massachusetts State Police; the Essex County Sheriff’s Department; the Massachusetts Parole Board; the New England High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program; and the Derry (N.H.), Haverhill, Lawrence, Methuen and Salisbury Police Departments. Assistant U.S. Attorney Philip C. Cheng, of Rollins’ Organized Crime & Gang Unit is prosecuting the case.
This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.
This case is also part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.
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.
Updated April 21, 2023