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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 29, 2019

Lowell Man Sentenced For Distributing Fentanyl

Lawrence woman also pleads guilty to fentanyl conspiracy

BOSTON – A Lowell man was sentenced and a Lawrence woman pleaded guilty on Friday, April 26, 2019, in federal court in Boston for their roles in separate fentanyl conspiracies operating in the Merrimack Valley. 

Edilberto Calle-Alvarez, 24, a Colombian national with legal permanent residence residing in Lowell, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Leo T. Sorokin to time served (approximately six months), six months of home confinement, and three years of supervised release. In January 2019, Calle-Alvarez pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl and one count of distribution of and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl.

Sabrina Aixa Ramos, 28, of Lawrence, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Indira Talwani to one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl, one count of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of fentanyl and two counts of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of fentanyl and heroin – aiding and abetting. Sentencing has been deferred, as Ramos has been admitted to the Court sponsored RISE program.

In October 2018, Calle-Alvarez and Ramos were charged along with dozens more during a federal sweep targeting impact players and repeat offenders in and around the City of Lawrence, all of whom have prior convictions for acts of violence, firearm offenses and/or drug trafficking, and those with criminal records who are in the United States illegally.

On Aug. 2, 2018, Calle-Alvarez sold 20 grams of fentanyl to an undercover police officer during a months-long federal investigation. Calle-Alvarez was part of a drug organization that was distributing large quantities of fentanyl throughout the Merrimack Valley.

Ramos conspired with co-defendant Sergio Manuel Lara-Suarez and others to distribute fentanyl by coordinating and facilitating the sale of powder fentanyl and fentanyl pressed into pills shaped to look like Oxycodone to an undercover agent. On several occasions, Ramos either directly sold fentanyl pills to an undercover agent or arranged for meetings between an undercover agent and Lara-Suarez to purchase significant quantities of fentanyl. Lara-Suarez pleaded guilty and is scheduled to be sentenced in May 2019.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Division; Peter C. Fitzhugh, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; Todd M. Lyons, Field Office Director, Boston, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Enforcement and Removal Operations; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; United States Marshal John Gibbons of the District of Massachusetts; Kelly Brady, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Boston Field Division; and Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Craig Estes and Philip Cheng are prosecuting the cases.

These cases are part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Opioids
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Component(s): 
Updated April 29, 2019