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Press Release

Two Lawrence Men Plead Guilty to Conspiring to Distribute Fentanyl at Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Bedford

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts
Among customers was a veteran seeking treatment for substance use disorder at the Veteran Affirms Medical Center in Bedford

BOSTON – Two Lawrence men have pleaded guilty in federal court in Boston to conspiring to distribute fentanyl to individuals at the Bedford Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Deiby Bladimil Casado Ruiz, 30, and Pedro Antonio Sanchez Bernabel, 31, both of Lawrence, pleaded guilty on July 21, 2023 to one count each of conspiracy to distribute fentanyl and distribution of fentanyl. U.S. District Court Judge Indira Talwani scheduled Casado Ruiz’s sentencing for Nov. 1, 2023 and Bernabel’s sentencing for Nov. 6, 2023. The defendants were charged in November 2022

Between July 27, 2022 and November 2022, Casado Ruiz and Bernabel conspired to distribute more than 40 grams of fentanyl. Specifically, the defendants sold fentanyl to individuals at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Bedford, including one veteran who was seeking treatment at the Medical Center for a substance use disorder.

The charge of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl and the charge of distribution of fentanyl each provides for a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, at least three years of supervised release and a maximum fine of $1 million. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.

Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy; Christopher Algieri, Special Agent in Charge of the VA Office of Inspector General’s Northeast Field; Christopher DiMenna, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division; and Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Field Division made the announcement today. Valuable assistance in the investigation was provided by the Bedford VA Medical Center Police Service and the Lawrence Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patrick Callahan, Lauren Graber and Kelly Lawrence of the Health Care Fraud Unit are prosecuting the case.

Updated July 24, 2023

Drug Trafficking