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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 18, 2020

Two Lawrence Brothers Indicted for Trafficking Fentanyl

BOSTON – Two brothers were indicted by a federal grand jury this week in connection with conspiring to distribute hundreds of grams of fentanyl in Lawrence.

Jose Manuel Carmona-Mercedes, 30, and Gabriel Carmona-Pimentel, 35, were indicted on charges of conspiracy to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl, distribution of fentanyl, and possession with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl.

According to charging documents, in late 2019, investigators identified Carmona-Mercedes and Carmona-Pimentel as large-scale fentanyl dealers operating in Lawrence. On four occasions in January and February 2020, an undercover police officer ordered fentanyl from Carmona-Mercedes. After the undercover officer ordered a quantity of fentanyl and negotiated the price, either Carmona-Pimentel or Carmona-Mercedes or both would deliver the fentanyl to the undercover officer from a base of operations on Lexington Street in Lawrence. On Feb. 25, 2020, after Carmona-Pimentel delivered 220 grams of fentanyl to the undercover officer, Carmona-Mercedes and Carmona-Pimentel were arrested. A search of the Lexington Street location resulted in the seizure of 1200 grams of fentanyl, documents in Carmona-Mercedes and Carmona-Pimentel’s names, plastic baggies commonly used to package drugs for street-level sales, blenders, suspected cut and digital scales.

The charge of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl provides for a minimum sentence of 10 years and up to life in prison, at least five years of supervised release and a fine of up to $10 million. The charge of distribution of fentanyl carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, at least three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $1 million. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigations in Boston; Colonel Christopher Mason, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Lawrence Police Chief Roy Vasque; and Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Pohl of Lelling’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit is prosecuting the case.

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

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated December 18, 2020