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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Leader of Boston-Based Drug Trafficking Organization Sentenced to 16 Years in Prison

BOSTON – The leader of a Boston-based heroin and fentanyl trafficking organization was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Boston.

Jose Antonio Lugo-Guerrero, a/k/a Fernando Rivera-Rodriguez, 40, a Dominican national formerly residing in Mattapan, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Indira Talwani to 16 years in prison and five years of supervised release. Lugo-Guerrero will be subject to deportation proceedings upon completion of his sentence. In August 2018, Lugo-Guerrero pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than one kilogram of heroin, more than 400 grams of fentanyl, and more than five kilograms of cocaine, and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. In February 2017, Lugo-Guerrero was arrested and charged along with 22 co-defendants.  

From mid-2016 through February 2017, federal law enforcement investigated two drug trafficking organizations operating in Taunton and Boston; the former led by Fernando Hernandez, and the latter led by Lugo-Guerrero. Hernandez’s organization obtained drugs from a network of suppliers that included Lugo-Guerrero.

Lugo-Guerrero sold kilograms of heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine to customers in Boston, New Bedford, Fall River, and surrounding areas. The evidence, including federal wiretaps in late 2016 and early 2017, further showed that he obtained some of the drugs he sold by robbing other drug dealers. On Nov. 3, 2016, Lugo-Guerrero and five co-defendants traveled to New Bedford planning to rob a drug dealer who had stolen half a kilogram of heroin from Lugo-Guerrero. At Lugo-Guerrero’s direction, one of the co-defendants transported a firearm and provided it to another co-defendant just before the attempted robbery. Based on intercepted communications, law enforcement agents were aware of the planned robbery and stopped and questioned the defendants before it occurred. As a result, Lugo-Guerrero aborted his plan that night and returned to Boston. 

In February 2018, Hernandez was sentenced to 15½ years in prison after pleading guilty in November 2017. The court found that Hernandez was responsible for distributing more than a kilogram of heroin over a two-month period in the summer of 2016.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Boston Field Division; Colonel Kerry A. Gilpin, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Bristol Country District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn; Bristol County Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson; Attleboro Police Chief Kyle P. Heagney; Boston Police Commissioner William Gross; Bridgewater Police Chief Christopher Delmonte; Fairhaven Police Chief Michael Myers; Fall River Police Chief Albert F. Dupere; New Bedford Police Chief Joseph C. Cordeiro; and Taunton Police Chief Edward James Walsh made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ted Heinrich of Lelling’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit prosecuted the case.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Opioids
Component(s): 
Updated December 4, 2018