Dominican Man Pleads Guilty to Fentanyl Trafficking Conspiracy
CONCORD - Raul Vantroi Arias Ruiz, of the Dominican Republic, pleaded guilty in federal court to participating in a fentanyl trafficking conspiracy, United States Attorney Scott W. Murray announced today.
According to court documents and statements made in court, from at least December 6, 2016, through May 2, 2017, the defendant arranged for the sale of fentanyl to customers in New Hampshire, using his co-defendant, Yossi Rafael Rincon-Ramirez, to make drug deliveries. Four of the fentanyl sales he arranged during that time period were made to an undercover DEA agent in Nashua, New Hampshire.
Based on these drug buys, law enforcement officers arrested the defendant at his residence in Methuen, Massachusetts, on May 2, 2017. After obtaining a search warrant for the residence, which included two adjacent apartments on the second floor of the building, law enforcement officers found approximately $941,994 in U.S. currency and two firearms, as well as approximately 90 grams of fentanyl, 20 grams of heroin, and 30 pounds of marijuana.
The $941,994 was forfeited to the United States in a civil forfeiture proceeding. As part of his plea agreement, Arias Ruiz also will forfeit the firearms.
Arias Ruiz pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for October 30, 2018.
State charges remain pending against him in Massachusetts related to the drugs and firearms seized from the Methuen residence.
Rincon-Ramirez previously pleaded guilty and is scheduled to be sentenced on August 22, 2018.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to stopping the transportation and distribution of fentanyl and other deadly drugs into New Hampshire,” said U.S. Attorney Murray. “We will continue to coordinate with our law enforcement partners to identify and prosecute those who are responsible for introducing these lethal substances into the Granite State. We also will use federal forfeiture laws to ensure that drug dealers and their suppliers are not able to profit from their criminal activities.”
“The state of New Hampshire is faced with a fentanyl crisis unlike ever before,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Brian D. Boyle. “Those responsible for distributing lethal drugs like fentanyl to the citizens of New Hampshire need to be held accountable for their actions. DEA will aggressively pursue Drug Trafficking Organizations and individuals who are coming from out of state to distribute this poison in order to profit and destroy people’s lives. This investigation demonstrates the strength and continued commitment of our local, state and federal law enforcement partners.”
This matter was investigated by the DEA, with the assistance of the Massachusetts State Police, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, and the police departments of Hudson, NH, Nashua, NH, and Methuen, MA. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Shane B. Kelbley. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Rabuck handled the asset forfeiture matter.