Lawrence Man Sentenced for Federal Cocaine Charge
BOSTON – A Lawrence man pleaded guilty today in federal court in Boston to a federal drug charge.
Hector Gomez, 38, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns to time served and three years of supervised release. In November 2017, Gomez pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to possess with intent to distribute cocaine. 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 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.
Maximo Rodriguez was scheduled for jury trial on Feb. 20, 2018, but failed to appear. He is currently a fugitive. Angel Torres Leon and Angel Figueras were sentenced in December 2017 to 40 months in prison and time-served, respectively. Mateo-Soto was sentenced in March 2018 to six years in prison; and Wallington Garcia’s case was dismissed.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Boston Field Division; and Peter Fitzhugh, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston, made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Susan Winkler of Lelling’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit prosecuted 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.