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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Lawrence Man Sentenced to Over 24 Years in Prison on Charges Related to Distribution of Fentanyl, Heroin and Cocaine

BOSTON – The leader of a Lawrence drug trafficking organization that imported fentanyl, heroin and cocaine from Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and elsewhere, into Massachusetts and the northeast was sentenced on Monday, Oct. 24, 2016. 

Jerri Martinez-Tejeda, 32, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Patti B. Saris to 292 months in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $400,000.  In June 2016, Martinez-Tejeda pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of fentanyl, heroin and cocaine; conspiracy to launder money; and unlawful reentry of a deported alien.  

During the course of a three-day sentencing hearing, evidence showed that Martinez-Tejeda arranged for the transport of nine kilograms of fentanyl from California to Massachusetts.  Along the way, federal agents arranged for the Oklahoma Highway Patrol to stop the pickup truck in which the drugs were being transported.  After hearing about the police stop, Martinez-Tejeda and his associates initially thought the drug couriers were lying since they were not immediately taken into custody.  So Martinez-Tejeda hired an enforcer to go to Oklahoma to kidnap and torture the couriers until they admitted their scheme.  Only by taking the couriers into custody was this violent plan thwarted. 

The Court also heard testimony that Martinez-Tejeda was responsible for laundering at least $1.1 million over the course of five and one-half months.  At the time of Martinez-Tejeda’s arrest on July 12, 2015, there was over $500,000 being counted and prepared for transport at Martinez-Tejeda’s house for payment to his Mexican drug supplier, along with drug trafficking paraphernalia including electronic scales, grinders, a hydraulic kilo press, drug ledgers and two handguns. 

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Michael J. Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Boston Field Division, made the announcement.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Kanwit of Ortiz’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit is prosecuting the case.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated October 28, 2016