Due to the lapse in appropriations, Department of Justice websites will not be regularly updated. The Department’s essential law enforcement and national security functions will continue. Please refer to the Department of Justice’s contingency plan for more information.

You are here

Justice News

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

Friday, June 1, 2018

Two Dominican Nationals Sentenced for Roles in Lawrence-Based Fentanyl Trafficking Conspiracy

BOSTON – Two Dominican nationals were sentenced in federal court in Boston for their roles in a widespread heroin and fentanyl trafficking conspiracy operating in Lawrence.

Domingo Gonzalez Martinez, 48, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. Senior District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodlock to 54 months in prison and three years of supervised release. Ruddy Rafael Soto Lara, 40, was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge Denise J. Casper to 21 months in prison and three years of supervised release. Both defendants will be subject to deportation proceedings. In February 2018, Gonzalez Martinez and Soto Lara each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute fentanyl, heroin and cocaine. Soto Lara also pleaded guilty to one count of illegal reentry of a deported alien.

On May 30, 2017, a large scale law enforcement operation dismantled two Lawrence-based drug trafficking organizations, one allegedly run by Juan Anibal Patrone, and another led by Ramon Gonzalez Nival, who was allegedly a source of supply for Patrone. In May 2017, Gonzalez Martinez was arrested and charged along with Patrone, Gonzalez Nival, and 30 co-conspirators. Soto Lara was already in state custody at the time of the takedown.

Gonzalez Martinez supplied fentanyl to Patrone. Gonzalez Martinez operated out of the Corniel Market, or bodega, in Lawrence, and was one of several suppliers utilized by Patrone.

Soto Lara was a courier of fentanyl and cocaine for Gonzalez Nival. He was arrested on April 13, 2017, with approximately 20 grams of fentanyl, which he was delivering for Nival.

Patrone has pleaded not guilty and is scheduled to stand trial in October 2018. Gonzalez Nival has a change of plea hearing scheduled for June 6, 2018.  

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Division; Peter C. Fitzhugh, 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 prosecuted 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.

Drug Trafficking
Updated June 1, 2018