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Press Release

New Bedford Man Indicted For Federal Drug Offenses

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

BOSTON – A New Bedford man was charged yesterday in federal court in Boston with distributing cocaine and marijuana.

Luis Mendez, 37, was indicted on one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and marijuana. Mendez has been in state custody since his arrest on Feb. 7, 2019. 

According to the charging document, on Feb. 7, 2019, after an investigation into drug distribution in and around New Bedford, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Mendez’s apartment, where Mendez was found in possession of approximately 15 grams of cocaine and 500 grams of marijuana. Mendez has prior felony convictions for narcotics distribution. 

The charge of distribution of a controlled substance provides for a sentence of no greater than 30 years in prison, up to a lifetime of supervised release, and a maximum fine up to $2 million. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Office; and New Bedford Police Chief Joseph C. Cordeiro made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas Soivilien of Lelling’s Organized Crime and Gang Unit is prosecuting the case.

This prosecution is 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.

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

Updated May 30, 2019

Drug Trafficking