Rhode Island Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison for Drug Trafficking and Money Laundering
BOSTON – A Rhode Island man was sentenced yesterday in U.S. District Court in Boston in connection with a wide-ranging conspiracy that distributed cocaine, heroin and other narcotics throughout Bristol County, Mass., and Rhode Island.
Luis Lopez a/k/a Juan Gonzalez, 43, of Tiverton, Rhode Island, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel to 15 years in prison and five years of supervised release after pleading guilty in October 2016 to conspiracy to distribute cocaine, heroin and fentanyl and money laundering. Lopez also agreed to forfeit property worth over $1 million, including three properties in Rhode Island, a used car dealership based in Fall River, Mass., and a number of luxury vehicles.
From 2014 to 2016, Lopez imported, at a minimum, 50 to100 kilograms of cocaine from Puerto Rico to Massachusetts, and distributed it in New Bedford and Fall River with co-conspirators. Lopez also conspired with others to distribute heroin, fentanyl and acetylfentanyl. Lopez admitted that a kilogram of a fentanyl/acetylfentanyl mix that was found at a drug stash house in June belonged to him. Lopez also laundered drug proceeds through Hillside Auto, a used car business he purchased in Fall River in the name of a relative.
Acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb; Michael J. Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Boston Field Division; Joel P. Garland, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations in Boston; Fall River Police Chief Daniel S. Racine; and New Bedford Police Chief Joseph C. Cordeiro, made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric S. Rosen of Weinreb’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit is prosecuting the case.