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Press Release

Lawrence Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Cocaine Charge

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

BOSTON – A Lawrence man pleaded guilty today in federal court in Boston to a federal drug charge.


Hector Gomez, 38, pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to possess with intent to distribute cocaine.  U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns scheduled sentencing for Feb. 20, 2018.  In December 2016, Gomez was arrested and charged along with five co-defendants: Juan Ulfany Mateo Soto; Angel Torres Leon; Maximo Rodriguez; Angel Figueras; and Wallington Garcia.


On Oct. 27, 2016, officers observed a cocaine transaction between Mateo Soto and Torres Leon. The officers followed the car in which Mateo Soto was transporting the cocaine after the transaction, stopped him, and towed the car because Mateo Soto did not have a valid driver’s license. The officers then found and seized six kilograms of cocaine from a backpack in the car.


Each of the remaining defendants, including Gomez, attempted to retrieve the cocaine that the officers seized. Specifically, Gomez conducted surveillance on the tow truck to identify law enforcement vehicles that might be in the vicinity and reported back to Mateo Soto. Gomez and another defendant then went to the tow yard in an attempt to retrieve the car and the drugs contained in a backpack to return to Mateo Soto. 


Both Torres Leon and Figueras are scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 14, 2017, after pleading guilty in June and July, respectively.  Mateo Soto pleaded guilty in October and is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 31, 2018.


The charge provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, a minimum of three years and a maximum of a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of up to $1 million. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.


Acting United States Attorney William Weinreb; Michael Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Boston Field Division; and Michael Shea, Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston, made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Susan Winkler of Weinreb’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit is prosecuting the case.


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

Updated November 7, 2017

Drug Trafficking