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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 19, 2019

Three Men Charged With Conspiracy To Distribute Fentanyl

BOSTON – Three men were charged in federal court in Boston yesterday with fentanyl conspiracy.

Javier Marrero, 27, and Ariel Pagan-Romero, 29, both of Lawrence, and Jonathan Bermudez, 23, of Lowell, were charged with conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl. Pagan-Romero was arrested yesterday and appeared in federal court in Boston. Bermudez is currently in state custody on an unrelated state drug charge and will appear in federal court at a later date. Marrero is currently a wanted fugitive.

During the course of several months, using an undercover police officer, a federal investigation uncovered the trio’s fentanyl distribution operation. When law enforcement executed several search warrants, they seized drugs, three firearms, including an AR-15 rifle, an extended magazine, and more than 100 rounds of ammunition.

The charge of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and up to life in prison, a fine of up to $10 million, and at least five years of supervised release. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew Lelling and Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Field Division made the announcement. During the course of this investigation, valuable assistance was provided by Homeland Security Investigations in Boston, the Massachusetts State Police, and the Andover, North Andover, Billerica, Chelmsford, Lowell, and Lawrence Police Departments. Assistant U.S. Attorney Philip C. Cheng of Lelling’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit is prosecuting the case.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Opioids
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Component(s): 
Updated April 19, 2019