BOSTON – A New Bedford man pleaded guilty today in federal court in Boston to his role in a drug trafficking organization (DTO) operating in Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Edwin Collazo, 27, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute fentanyl; and to possession with intent to distribute fentanyl. U.S. District Court Judge Allison D. Burroughs scheduled sentencing for Sept. 5, 2023. Collazo was indicted by a federal grand jury in August 2022.
Between approximately March 2022 and June 2022, Collazo purchased fentanyl from the DTO that he then redistributed to others. Intercepted communications revealed Collazo discussing purchasing fentanyl from the DTO and surveillance footage showed other members of the DTO visiting Collazo’s residence for brief periods of times, which is consistent with illegal drug trafficking. Fentanyl was also seized during a search of Collazo’s residence in July 2022.
The charge of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute fentanyl provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, at least three years and up to a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of up to $1 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.
Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy; Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Field Division; New Bedford Police Chief Paul Oliveira; and Fairhaven Police Chief Michael J. Myers made the announcement today. Special assistance was provided by the Massachusetts State Police; Homeland Security Investigations; Bristol County Sherriff’s Office; and Fall River, Taunton, Attleboro, Scituate, Yarmouth, Providence (R.I.) and West Warwick (R.I.) Police Departments. Assistant U.S. Attorney John T. Mulcahy of Levy’s Narcotics & Money Laundering Unit is 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.