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Press Release

Three Men Arrested in Federal Fentanyl Sweep Plead Guilty

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

BOSTON – Three men pleaded guilty today in federal court in Boston to their roles in a widespread heroin and fentanyl trafficking conspiracy operating in Lawrence.

Andreury Fana Burgos, 21, of Lawrence, Mass.; Melvin Weatherspoon, 58, of Rochester, N.H.; and Matthew Shover, 29, of Maine, each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin, cocaine and fentanyl. U.S. District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodlock scheduled the sentencings for Burgos and Weatherspoon on Feb. 13, 2018, and Jan. 30, 2018, respectively. Shover’s sentencing has not yet been scheduled.


On May 30, 2017, after a year-long investigation aimed at attacking the fentanyl and heroin crisis in Lawrence and surrounding areas, more than 200 federal, state and local law enforcement officers executed a federal drug sweep to dismantle a Lawrence-based drug trafficking organization allegedly run by Juan Anibal Patrone. Burgos, Weatherspoon, and Shover were arrested and charged along with Patrone and approximately 25 co-conspirators.  

Burgos was a street level courier who delivered drugs to addicts at Patrone’s direction. Weatherspoon and Shover were redistributors who obtained drugs from Patrone to distribute to their own customers. 

Patrone has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial.

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. 

Acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb; Michal J. Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Division; Matthew J. Etre, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; Essex County District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett; Colonel Richard D. McKeon, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; and Lawrence Police Chief James Fitzpatrick made the announcement today. The DEA Cross Border Initiative, comprised of the DEA and the Andover, Haverhill, Lawrence, Lowell, and Wilmington Police Departments, conducted the investigation jointly with the Massachusetts State Police. Assistant U.S. Attorney Susan Winkler of Weinreb’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit is prosecuting the cases.

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.

Updated October 19, 2017

Drug Trafficking