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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Lawrence Man Pleads Guilty to Fentanyl Trafficking Conspiracy

BOSTON – A Lawrence man has pleaded guilty in federal court in Boston to fentanyl trafficking.

Saury Rodriguez-Ruiz, 33, pleaded guilty on May 26, 2022 to one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl and one count of distribution and possession with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl. U.S. District Court Chief Judge F. Denis Saylor IV scheduled sentencing for Sept. 9, 2022. Rodriguez-Ruiz was indicted along with his co-conspirator, Danybelkis Vasquez-Rodrigue, in January 2021. Vasquez-Rodrigue has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial.

In November 2020, law enforcement began an investigation into Rodriguez-Ruiz, who had been identified as a Lawrence-based drug supplier. On Nov. 24, 2020, Rodriguez-Ruiz distributed nearly one kilogram of fentanyl to a cooperating witness. In exchange for the fentanyl, the cooperating witness made two payments to Rodriguez-Ruiz’s associates in December 2020. The first payment of $10,000 was to an associate of Rodriguez-Ruiz and the second payment of $32,000 was allegedly to Rodriguez-Ruiz’salleged co-conspirator, Vasquez-Rodrigue.

The charges of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl and distribution of and possession with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl each carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and up to life in prison, at least five years of supervised release and a fine of up to $5 million. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.

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. The case was investigated by the FBI’s Strike Force including the Norfolk County Sherriff’s Office.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Alathea Porter of Rollin’s Narcotics & Money Laundering Unit is prosecuting 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.

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

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated May 31, 2022