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Press Release

Lawrence Elementary School Classroom Assistant Charged with Opioid Distribution Crime

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

BOSTON – A 4th grade classroom assistant in a Lawrence school was arrested yesterday afternoon and charged in connection with an undercover operation involving cocaine and oxycodone pills in the greater Boston area.

Reynaldo Sanchez, 25, of Lawrence, was charged in a criminal complaint with one count of attempted possession and intent to distribute oxycodone.  Sanchez was released on conditions after an appearance today in U.S. District Court in Boston.

As alleged in the criminal complaint, in August 2015, federal agents began investigating Sanchez for his involvement in a narcotics and money laundering organization operating in the Boston area.  During the investigation, Sanchez arranged to purchase from undercover federal agents 10 – 15 kilograms of cocaine for a price of $33,000 per kilogram.  The complaint further alleges that between March 29, 2016, and March 31, 2016, Sanchez sought to purchase what he believed were 11,000 oxycodone pills for $13 per pill from an undercover agent posing as a drug courier.  At the time of his arrest, Sanchez was carrying a duffle bag containing $48,000.

The charging statute provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of $1 million.  Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties.  Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Matthew J. Etre, Special Agent in Charge of the Homeland Security Investigations, Boston Field Office; and Colonel Richard D. McKeon, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, made the announcement.  Assistance was also provided by the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Police; and the Lawrence, Franklin, Wareham and Dartmouth Police Departments.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carlos A. López of Ortiz’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit.

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

Updated April 1, 2016

Drug Trafficking