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Press Release

Lawrence Man Sentenced for Fentanyl Offenses

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

BOSTON – A Lawrence man was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Boston for distributing and possessing fentanyl.

Jose A. Ventura, 39, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge William G. Young to time served (approximately two months in prison), five months of home confinement and three years of supervised release. In November 2019, Ventura pleaded guilty to one count of distribution of and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl.

On July 16, 2019 in Lawrence, investigators witnessed Ventura sell approximately 10 grams of fentanyl in a street-level drug transaction. When investigators subsequently approached Ventura, he threw five additional bags of fentanyl on the ground. The total amount of fentanyl attributable to Ventura was nearly 15 grams.

Ventura was indicted as part of a coordinated enforcement operation in the Merrimack Valley dubbed “Devil’s Highway.” The operation targeted the distribution of opioids, including fentanyl and heroin, and resulted in charges against 40 people for federal drug offenses, with at least a dozen more individuals facing state charges.

Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell 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, the Massachusetts State Police, the Lawrence Police Department and the North Andover Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lindsey Weinstein of Mendell’s Narcotics & Money Laundering Unit prosecuted the case.

Updated June 9, 2021

Drug Trafficking