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Press Release

Lawrence Man Pleads Guilty To Fentanyl Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts
Defendant involved in large-scale fentanyl and heroin trafficking ring in Springfield

BOSTON – A Lawrence man pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Springfield in connection with his role in a large-scale drug conspiracy that trafficked dozens of kilos of heroin and fentanyl into Springfield from Bronx, N.Y., and the Dominican Republic.

Francisco Sandoval, 65, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl. U.S. District Court Judge Mark G. Mastroianni scheduled sentencing for July 9, 2019.

On July 13, 2016, Sandoval received two kilograms of fentanyl from the alleged leader of a Springfield drug trafficking organization, Alberto Marte. Marte had direct contact with heroin suppliers in the Dominican Republic, and on a monthly basis, members of his organization transported between eight and 20 kilograms of heroin, worth a street value of approximately $1.6 million and $4 million, respectively to the Springfield area.

Marte was arrested and charged in September 2016. He is currently in custody awaiting trial.

The charge of conspiracy to distribute fentanyl provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, a minimum of three years 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.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Hampden County District Attorney Anthony D. Gulluni; Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Division; Peter C. Fitzhugh, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; Colonel Kerry Gilpin, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Springfield Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood; Chicopee Police Chief William Jebb; Holyoke Police Chief Manny Febo; and West Springfield Police Chief Ronald Campurciani made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Neil Desroches of Lelling’s Springfield Branch Office is prosecuting the case. 

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

Updated April 9, 2019

Drug Trafficking