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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Two New Bedford Men Plead Guilty to Heroin Trafficking

BOSTON – Two New Bedford men pleaded yesterday in U.S. District Court in Boston to selling heroin.

Manuel Lopes, a/k/a “Junior” Lopes, 36, and Harry Parsons, 27, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Denise J. Casper.  Lopes pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin, distribution of heroin, and possession with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin.  Parsons pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute heroin and distribution of heroin.  Sentencing is scheduled for April 14 and 15, 2015 for Parsons and Lopes, respectively.

Lopes and Parsons conspired with each other and another individual to sell heroin in New Bedford.  In particular, on Feb.15, 2013, Lopes, Parsons, and a co-conspirator sold almost 100 grams of heroin to a cooperating witness.  Lopes drove with the cooperating witness to Parson’s home where the heroin sale was completed.  Lopes and another individual planned and arranged for the sale of an additional 50 grams of heroin to the cooperating witness that was to take place on Feb. 25, 2013, although the sale was not completed.

On March 1, 2013, agents arrested Lopes and another individual.  Pursuant to a search warrant executed at Lopes’ home, agents seized approximately 7,500 packages of heroin, several large packages of marijuana, brass knuckles, and a bullet-proof vest.

At the time of this offense, Lopes was on federal probation from a previous drug and gun trafficking conviction in U.S. District Court in Boston.

For Lopes, the charging statutes provide for a minimum sentence of ten years in prison and a maximum penalty of life in prison; eight years of supervised release, and a maximum fine of $8 million.  Pursuant to a written plea agreement, the government and Lopes agreed to recommend to Judge Casper that he serve a sentence of 188 months in prison.  For Parsons, the charging statutes provide a sentence of no greater than 30 years in prison, six years of supervised release, and a fine of $2 million.  Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties.  Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; and Michael J. Ferguson, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Boston Field Division, made the announcement today.  The case was investigated by a DEA Task Force comprised of agents and officers from the Massachusetts State Police, the New Bedford and Fairhaven Police Departments, the Bristol County Sheriff’s Department, and other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Pohl of Ortiz’s Organized Crime Strike Force Unit.

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Updated January 15, 2015