Leominster Man Convicted for Role in Wide-Ranging Fentanyl, Heroin, Crack, and Cocaine Conspiracy
BOSTON – A Leominster man was convicted by a federal jury yesterday in connection with his participation in a wide-ranging fentanyl, heroin, crack and cocaine trafficking conspiracy.
Adiangel Paredes, 36, was convicted following a one-week jury trial of one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin, 400 grams or more of fentanyl, 500 grams or more of cocaine and 28 grams or more of cocaine base (commonly known as crack cocaine). U.S. Senior District Court Judge Timothy S. Hillman scheduled sentencing for March 1, 2023.
According to court documents, following a fatal fentanyl overdose in September 2018, law enforcement began an investigation into the drug trafficking activities of Pedro Baez and Anthony Baez. Intercepted communications, surveillance and controlled purchases identified Paredes as a fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine supplier in the Fitchburg area and one of the suppliers for Pedro and Anthony Baez.
Paredes was charged in July 2020 along with 17 others in an eight-count superseding indictment in connection with this investigation.
Between September 2018 and November 2019, Paredes conspired to distribute fentanyl, heroin and cocaine as well as a fentanyl and heroin mixture. Nearly 850 grams of the fentanyl and heroin mixture supplied by Paredes in three controlled purchases was seized during the investivation. In addition, evidence at trial established that, during the conspiracy, Paredes supplied at least an additional 550 grams of the fentanyl and heroin mixture.
Over the course of the investigation, over 1.8 kilograms of a heroin and fentanyl mixture, over 3.6 kilograms of cocaine and over 50 grams of crack cocaine, as well as a stolen, loaded handgun, drug manufacturing equipment and over $376,000 were seized.
Nine of the 18 defendants have been sentenced in the case. In December 2020, Anthony Baez was sentenced by Judge Hillman to 13 years in prison and five years of supervised release. Three of the remaining defendants, Branny Taveras, Jessica Hughes and Hector Matos have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.
The charge of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin, 400 grams or more of fentanyl, 500 grams or more of cocaine and 28 grams or more of cocaine base provides for a sentence of up to life in prison, at least five years of supervised release and a fine of up to $10 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; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division; Commissioner Carol Mici of the Massachusetts Department of Correction; and Colonel Christopher Mason, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police made the announcement. The Fitchburg and Lunenburg Police Departments, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and Massachusetts State Police provided valuable assistance. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alathea E. Porter and Sarah Hoefle of Rollins’ Criminal Division are 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.