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Press Release

Two Men Involved in Federal Fentanyl Sweep Plead Guilty

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

BOSTON - A Dominican national and a Lowell man each pleaded guilty today in federal court in Boston to their roles in a widespread Lawrence-based heroin and fentanyl trafficking conspiracy.

Caonablo Mayobanex Pol Montero, a/k/a Cesar Eliel Echavarria Navarez; a/k/a Ely Manzano; a/k/a Mayo Baney Pol; a/k/a Mayo Pol; a/k/a Eddie Soto; a/k/a Jorge Mercado; a/k/a Israel Cortes; a/k/a Israel Cortez; a/k/a Ismael Guerra Cortez; a/k/a Ismael Cortez; a/k/a Israel P. Cortez; a/k/a Ismael Guerra; a/k/a Jorge L. Santiago; a/k/a Albertoz Vasquez; a/k/a Mayo Baney Montero; a/k/a Mayo Bane Montero; a/k/a Bani, 45, a Dominican national residing in Lawrence; and Shawn Keefe, 27, of Lowell, each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin, cocaine and fentanyl.  Pol Montero also pleaded guilty to one count of illegal reentry of a deported alien. U.S. District Court Judge Leo T. Sorokin scheduled their sentencings for March 22, 2018, and Dec. 17, 2018, respectively. Keefe has been accepted to the Court’s RISE program, therefore his sentencing is delayed one year while he is enrolled in the program.   


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. Pol Montero and Keefe were arrested and charged along with Patrone and approximately 30 co-conspirators.  

Pol Montero supplied drugs to Patrone as well as to other customers, including Keefe, who redistributed drugs for Pol Montero and sold drugs to support his own habit. When search warrants were executed on May 30, 2017, over 350 grams of heroin, 22 grams of fentanyl, and drug paraphernalia were found at Pol Montero’s home. Pol Montero has previously been deported three times.

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.  The illegal re-entry charge provides for a sentence of no greater than two years in prison, up to three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000.  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; Michael Shea, Acting 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 James Fitzpatrick made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Susan Winkler of Weinreb’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit is prosecuting the case.

This case is the result of a joint investigation conducted by the DEA Cross Border Initiative - comprised of the DEA, the Massachusetts State Police, and the Andover, Haverhill, Lawrence, Lowell, and Wilmington Police Departments - and the ongoing effort of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF), a partnership between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.


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 December 15, 2017

Drug Trafficking