Leader of Drug Trafficking and Money Laundering Organization with Ties to Mexican Cartel Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison
BOSTON – A Fitchburg man has been sentenced in federal court in Worcester for his role in a wide-ranging fentanyl, heroin, crack and cocaine trafficking conspiracy.
Pedro Villot-Santiago, 33, was sentenced on Oct. 30, 2023 by U.S. Senior District Court Judge Timothy S. Hillman to 112 months in prison and four years of supervised release. In March 2023, Villot-Santiago 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 (commonly known as crack cocaine) and 500 grams or more of cocaine.
Following a fatal fentanyl overdose in September 2018, an investigation began into a drug trafficking organization (DTO) in the Fitchburg area. Beginning in July 2019, court authorized interceptions of wire and electronic communications between members of the DTO and its suppliers revealed Villot-Santiago as a large-scale cocaine supplier.
Over the course of the investigation, over 1.8 kilograms of a heroin and fentanyl mixture and over 50 grams of crack cocaine were seized, as well as a stolen, loaded handgun, drug manufacturing equipment and over $376,000. Villot-Santiago was responsible for over 10 kilograms of cocaine. On the day of his arrest in July 2023, Villot-Santiago was found in possession of a stolen, loaded handgun, as well as over $252,000 in cash.
Villot-Santiago is the 15th defendant to be sentenced in this case. All 18 defendants have been convicted – either by guilty plea or jury conviction following trial. The remaining convicted defendants are scheduled to be sentenced in November 2023.
Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy; Jodi Cohen, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division; Commissioner Carol Mici of the Massachusetts Department of Correction; and John E. Mawn Jr., Interim Colonel of the Massachusetts State Police made the announcement today. The Fitchburg and Lunenburg Police Departments and U.S. Postal Inspection Service provided valuable assistance. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alathea Porter of the Criminal Division prosecuted 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 https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.