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Press Release

Lynn Man Who Was Arrested at Logan Airport Transporting Nearly $40,000 in Drug Proceeds Sentenced

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

BOSTON – A Lynn man was sentenced today in federal court in Boston for his role in a North Shore-based drug trafficking organization (DTO) that manufactured and distributed tens of thousands of counterfeit prescription pills containing narcotics.

Melvin Nieves, 25, was sentenced by Chief U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV to 27 months in prison and three years of supervised release. In October 2023, Nieves pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances.

Nieves was among 23 individuals charged in October 2022 in connection with a wide-ranging conspiracy to traffic counterfeit prescription pills. The defendants were subsequently indicted along with two additional alleged co-conspirators in December 2022. According to court documents, the DTO distributed counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl and counterfeit Adderall pills containing methamphetamine, among other things, to various individuals in the Lynn area. Nieves is the second defendant to be sentenced in the case.

Nieves was responsible for the distribution of approximately 400 counterfeit oxycodone pills containing undisclosed amounts of fentanyl. At the time of Nieves’ arrest in October 2022, he had just checked a suitcase at Logan Airport that contained $30,000 in cash drug proceeds he was transporting to California to purchase additional controlled substances. Nieves also possessed an additional $8,054 in drug proceeds, as well as assorted jewelry and a Louis Vuitton bag – both of which were purchased from earlier drug sales.

Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy; Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Division; and John E. Mawn Jr., Interim Colonel of the Massachusetts State Police made the announcement today. Valuable assistance was provided by the Beverly, Everett, Peabody, Revere, Salem, Saugus and Swampscott Police Departments. Assistant U.S. Attorneys James E. Arnold and Evan D. Panich of the Narcotics & Money Laundering Unit prosecuted 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

The details contained in the indictment are allegations. The remaining defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated January 22, 2024

Drug Trafficking