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Press Release

Lawrence Man Sentenced to 96 Months for Fentanyl Trafficking

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

            CONCORD – United States Attorney Scott W. Murray announced today that Walker Manuel Moreta, 32, of Lawrence, Massachusetts, was sentenced to 96 months in federal prison for participating in a conspiracy to distribute, and possess with intent to distribute, fentanyl. 

            According to court documents and statements made in court, between at least January of 2017 through July of 2017, Moreta, with the assistance of others, sold quantities of fentanyl to multiple individuals, including customers from New Hampshire.  Moreta and his co-conspirators often operated out of a location on Water Street in Lawrence, Massachusetts.  As part of an investigation of Moreta, a cooperating individual purchased over 100 grams of fentanyl from Moreta between May and June of 2017.  On July 6, 2017, Moreta was arrested and had 19 grams of fentanyl on his person. 

            Evidence in the case also indicated that the drugs distributed by the defendant resulted in at least one fatal fentanyl overdose in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

            Moreta previously pleaded guilty on April 1, 2019.  He faces likely removal to the Dominican Republic after serving his sentence.

            Two co-conspirators, Miguel Arias-Velasquez and Miguel Vasquez, previously pleaded guilty.  Arias-Velasquez was sentenced to serve 48 months in prison.  Vasquez is awaiting sentencing.

            “Fentanyl is an incredibly lethal substance that has caused hundreds of deaths in New Hampshire,” said U.S. Attorney Murray.  “We are working every day to identify, prosecute, and incarcerate the interstate fentanyl traffickers who are selling this deadly drug to the citizens of the Granite State.  Drug dealers who sell fentanyl in New Hampshire should understand that they will be caught and will spend substantial portions of their lives in federal prison.”

            “Fentanyl is causing deaths in record numbers and DEA’s top priority is to aggressively pursue anyone who distributes this poison,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Brian D. Boyle.  “Today’s sentence not only holds Mr. Moreta accountable for his crimes but serves as a warning to those traffickers who are fueling the opioid epidemic.” 

            This matter was investigated by the DEA, with assistance from the Massachusetts State Police, the United States Marshals Service, the New Hampshire State Police, the Lawrence Police Department, with assistance from the Portsmouth Police Department, the Dover Police Department, and the Rockingham County Attorney’s Office.  The case is being prosecuted by First Assistant U.S. Attorney John J. Farley.


Updated November 22, 2019

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 19-214