Leader of Drug Trafficking and Money Laundering Organization with Ties to Mexican Cartel Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison
BOSTON – A Revere man pleaded guilty yesterday to possessing cocaine and fentanyl as well as receiving a firearm while under indictment for felony charges.
Cesar Rivera, 23, pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and fentanyl and one count of receipt of a firearm while under indictment for felony charges. U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns scheduled sentencing for April 6, 2023. Rivera was indicted by a federal grand jury on Jan. 12, 2022. He has been in federal custody since July 2021.
In December 2020, Rivera was wanted on outstanding warrants on multiple state gun cases for which he had failed to respond court summonses or appear in court for over a year. On Dec. 22, 2020, law enforcement located Rivera at a carwash in Malden and was subsequently arrested. At the time of his arrest, Rivera was carrying approximately 28 grams of crack cocaine, fentanyl and a Glock firearm.
In October 2020, two months prior to his arrest, while wanted on the outstanding warrants, Rivera and another individual named Phillips Charles (charged separately) had a brief encounter with a rival gang member, his girlfriend and their one-year-old child at the Square One Mall in Saugus. After the encounter, Rivera and Charles pursued the victim and his family and fired at least seven rounds into their vehicle. Following Rivera’s arrest, ballistics examination of the Glock firearm recovered from Rivera in December 2020 revealed that it had been used in the October 2020 shooting.
On Sept. 7, Charles was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton to 78 months in prison and four years of supervised release.
The charge of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and 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 $5 million. The charge of possession of firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime provides for a sentence of at least five years and up to life in prison, five years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. 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.
First Assistant United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division; James Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Boston Field Division; Colonel Christopher Mason, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; and Malden Police Chief Kevin Molis made the announcement. Valuable assistance was provided by the Massachusetts State Police; the Middlesex County and Suffolk County District Attorney’s Offices; and the Boston Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Philip A. Mallard of the Organized Crime and Gang 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.