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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 4, 2021

Woman Pleads Guilty to Drug Conspiracy Charges

BOSTON – A woman who conspired with a member of the Fitchburg Chapter of the Massachusetts Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation (“Latin Kings”) pleaded guilty today to drug distribution charges.

Sophia Velasquez, 28, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl. U.S. Senior District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel scheduled sentencing for May 26, 2021.

Velasquez admitted to conspiring with Dairon Rivera, a/k/a “King Mafia,” to sell 17 grams of fentanyl to a cooperating witness in an audio/video recorded sale that took place in December 2017. 

In December 2019, a federal grand jury returned an indictment alleging racketeering conspiracy, drug conspiracy and firearms charges against 62 leaders, members and associates of the Latin Kings. Velasquez is the 32nd defendant to plead guilty in the case. Rivera pleaded guilty in December 2020 and is scheduled to be sentenced on April 1, 2021.

The charge of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, a minimum of three years and up to life of supervised release and a fine of up to $1 million. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon 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 Investigation, Boston Field Division; and Commissioner Carol Mici of the Massachusetts Department of Correction made the announcement today. Valuable assistance was also provided by the FBI North Shore Gang Task Force and the Bristol County and Suffolk County District Attorney’s Offices. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Philip A. Mallard and Lauren Graber of Lelling’s Criminal Division are prosecuting the case.

The operation was conducted by a multi-agency task force through the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (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. More information on the OCDETF program is available here: https://www.justice.gov/ocdetf/about-ocdetf.

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.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated February 4, 2021