New Hampshire Man Sentenced for Fentanyl Trafficking
BOSTON – A New Hampshire man was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Boston for his role in a widespread heroin and fentanyl trafficking conspiracy operating in Lawrence.
Carlos Hernandez, 34, of Manchester, N.H., was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Denise J. Casper to 30 months in prison and three years of supervised release. In October 2017, Hernandez pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin, cocaine and fentanyl.
On May 30, 2017, a large scale law enforcement operation was conducted in an effort to dismantle two Lawrence-based drug trafficking organizations, one allegedly run by Juan Anibal Patrone, and another allegedly led by Ramon Gonzalez-Nival, who was also a source of supply for Patrone. Hernandez was arrested and charged along with Patrone, Gonzalez-Nival, and approximately 30 co-conspirators.
Hernandez was a redistributor in New Hampshire for the Gonzalez-Nival organization. He was arrested on Feb. 25, 2017, after picking up twelve 10-gram units from Gonzalez-Nival’s courier. During a traffic stop shortly thereafter, approximately 120 grams of suspected fentanyl was seized from Hernandez and his passenger, co-defendant Rory Connolly.
Patrone and Gonzalez-Nival have pleaded not guilty and are awaiting trial. Connolly pleaded guilty in November 2017 and was accepted into the Court’s RISE program.
The conspiracy charge provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, a minimum of 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 other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Michal J. Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Division; Michael Shea, Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; Essex County District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett; Colonel Kerry A. Gilpin, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; and Lawrence Police Chief Roy P. Vasque made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Susan Winkler of Lelling’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit is prosecuting the case.
This case is the result of a joint investigation conducted by the DEA Cross Border Initiative - comprised of the DEA, the Massachusetts State Police, and the Andover, Haverhill, Lawrence, Lowell, and Wilmington Police Departments - and the ongoing effort of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF), a partnership between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.
The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The remaining defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.