Leader of Drug Trafficking and Money Laundering Organization with Ties to Mexican Cartel Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison
BOSTON – A Lawrence man has been convicted by a federal jury in Boston of fentanyl trafficking.
Manuel Santana Vizcaino, a/k/a “Dave,” 38, was convicted on Feb. 11, 2023 of distribution and possession with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl. U.S. Senior District Court Judge Mark L. Wolf scheduled sentencing for May 10, 2023. Santana Vizcaino was charged along with his brother, Santo Santana Vizcaino, in October 2020 and the two were subsequently indicted by a federal grand jury in February 2021.
In September 2020, Manuel Santana Vizcaino arranged for the distribution of more than a half kilogram of fentanyl to an individual. Specifically, on Sept. 3, 2020, Manuel Santana Vizcaino provided the individual with approximately 270 grams of fentanyl concealed inside a guava juice box at his apartment in Lawrence. Later, on Sept. 14, 2020, while outside the United States in the Dominican Republic, Manuel Santana Vizcaino arranged for his brother to sell the individual another 250 grams of fentanyl. Manuel Santana Vizcaino was arrested in December 2020 at Logan Airport upon returning from the Dominican Republic.
In May 2022, Santo Santana Vizcaino was sentenced to 30 months in prison and three years of supervised release after previously pleading guilty to the same charges in January 2022.
The charge of distribution and possession with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl provides for a sentence of at least five years and up to 40 years in prison, at least four years of supervised release and a fine of $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 Rachael S. Rollins and Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division, made the announcement. Valuable assistance was provided by the Drug Enforcement Administration; Customs and Border Protection; Homeland Security Investigations in New England; Massachusetts State Police; and the Essex County Sheriff’s Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Philip C. Cheng and Lucy Sun of Rollins’ Organized Crime & Gang Unit are prosecuting the case.