CONCORD - Michael Cicciu, 42, of Manchester, pleaded guilty in federal court on Wednesday to one count of possession of fentanyl with intent to distribute and one count of maintaining a drug-involved premises, United States Attorney Jane E. Young announced today.
According to court documents and statements made in court, on August 31, 2020, Manchester police detectives obtained a state search warrant for Cicciu’s residence based on surveillance and post-arrest statements from both buyers and suppliers of drugs. After executing the warrant, officers located a baggie of fentanyl and an apparent drug ledger.
In 2018, Cicciu purchased a residential building in Manchester. The premises were managed and controlled by Cicciu and made available for others to unlawfully store, distribute, and use controlled substances. Specifically, on eight separate occasions between October 22, 2019 and November 20, 2020, Manchester police detectives executed search warrants at the residence that resulted in the arrests of people renting rooms from Cicciu who were distributing and using heroin, fentanyl, methamphetamine and crack cocaine. On one of these occasions, officers also located several assault-style weapons, a handgun, and brass knuckles.
Cicciu is scheduled to be sentenced on August 25, 2022. As part of his plea agreement, he has agreed to forfeit his interest in the property, which is located on East High Street in Manchester.
“Drug trafficking endangers our community in many different ways,” said U.S. Attorney Young. “Not only do drug traffickers sell deadly substances, but their unlawful activities damage the peace and security of our neighborhoods. By allowing dangerous drug dealers to do business inside his building, this defendant jeopardized public safety and broke the law. Thanks to the hard work of our law enforcement partners, he has now been held responsible for his crimes.”
This matter was investigated by the Manchester Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joachim H. Barth. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Rabuck assisted with the forfeiture portion of the case.
This case is part of Operation Synthetic Opioid Surge (S.O.S.). In July of 2018, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the creation of S.O.S., which is being implemented in the District of New Hampshire and nine other federal districts. The goal of S.O.S. is to combat the large number of overdoses and deaths associated with fentanyl and other synthetic opioids. In New Hampshire, the U.S. Attorney’s Office is focusing its efforts on prosecuting synthetic opioid trafficking cases arising in Hillsborough County, which includes Manchester and Nashua.