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Press Release

Hyannis Woman Sentenced to Three Years in Prison for Fentanyl Conspiracy Operating Across Southeastern Massachusetts

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

BOSTON – A Hyannis woman was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Boston for her involvement in a drug trafficking organization (DTO) that distributed fentanyl throughout Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island. 

Rebecca Bartholomew, 37, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Allison D. Burroughs to three years in prison and three years of supervised release. In October 2023, Bartholomew pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute fentanyl. Bartholomew was one of 10 individuals indicted by a federal grand jury in August 2022 in connection with the conspiracy.

In March 2021, an investigation began into a DTO operating in Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island led by Estarlin Ortiz-Alcantara. The investigation identified Bartholomew as a distributor for the DTO. Between April and June 2022, Bartholomew redistributed fentanyl she had obtained from Ortiz-Alcantara and allegedly other DTO members. During a traffic stop in April 2022, Bartholomew was found in possession of approximately 90 grams of fentanyl.  

Bartholomew is the fourth defendant to be sentenced in case. Ortiz-Alcantara pleaded guilty in December 2023 and is scheduled to be sentenced on July 9, 2024.

Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy; Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Field Division; New Bedford Police Chief Paul Oliveira; and Fairhaven Police Chief Michael J. Myers made the announcement. Special assistance was provided by the Massachusetts State Police; Homeland Security Investigations; Bristol County Sheriff’s Office; and Fall River, Taunton, Attleboro, Scituate, Yarmouth, Providence (R.I.) and West Warwick (R.I.) Police Departments. Assistant U.S. Attorney John T. Mulcahy of the Narcotics & Money Laundering Unit is prosecuting the case.

This effort 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

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

Updated March 1, 2024

Drug Trafficking