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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 7, 2018

Maine Woman Pleads Guilty to Federal Drug Conspiracy

BOSTON – A Maine woman pleaded guilty today in federal court in Worcester to her role in a drug trafficking conspiracy.

Melissa Rock, 39, of Pemaquid, Maine, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute heroin and cocaine, specifically cocaine. U.S. District Court Judge Timothy S. Hillman scheduled sentencing for Aug. 1, 2018. In 2017, Rock and four others, Vito Nuzzolilo, of Worcester; Kristin Little, of Worcester; Thomas Walker, of Pemaquid, Maine; and Ricardo Ortega-Vasquez, a Dominican national residing in New York City, were indicted for their roles in the conspiracy.  

According to court documents, a court-authorized wiretap intercepted Rock and Walker speaking with Nuzzolilo about purchasing cocaine for re-distribution in Maine. On April 10, 2017, Rock contacted Nuzzolilo to ask if he would “front” a quantity of cocaine; she then traveled to Nuzzolilo’s apartment in Worcester. On April 27, 2017, Walker spoke with Nuzzolilo about obtaining additional cocaine, promising that his “workers” had cash to cover it. Rock and Walker then traveled to Nuzzolilo’s Worcester apartment, and, after leaving the apartment, were stopped by law enforcement and found in possession of more than 50 grams of cocaine.

Rock faces a sentence of up to 40 years in prison, a minimum of four years and up to a lifetime of supervised release, and a fine of $5 million. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. 

Little and Ortega-Vasquez have also pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing. The remaining defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and Albert Angelucci, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Field Division; and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Bill Abely of Lelling’s Worcester Branch Office is prosecuting the case.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated May 7, 2018