Manchester Man Pleads Guilty To Heroin And Fentanyl Distribution Conspiracy
CONCORD, N.H. – Zakee Stuart-Holt, 34, of Manchester, New Hampshire, pleaded guilty in United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire to a federal indictment charging him with one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin and fentanyl and one count of money laundering, announced United States Attorney Emily Gray Rice.
According to court documents, the defendant distributed drugs in the Manchester, New Hampshire area since at least July of 2014. Pursuant to a search warrant, law enforcement recovered approximately 1.8 kilograms of fentanyl and $198,000 in drug proceeds from an apartment occupied by the defendant and another individual. In addition, law enforcement seized approximately $560,000 in drug proceeds from a safe deposit box in the defendant’s name. The defendant was not employed at the time of the conspiracy and the currency recovered by law enforcement constituted proceeds of the defendant’s drug distribution conspiracy.
Stuart-Holt’s plea agreement includes a binding stipulated sentence of 210 months’ incarceration. It also provides for the forfeiture of any property constituting or derived from the conspiracy. A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for 10 a.m. on November 29, 2016, in front of United States District Judge Landya B. McCafferty. At that time, the Court will decide whether to accept the plea agreement and impose the agreed-upon period of incarceration, as well as any other conditions of Stuart-Holt’s sentence.
“I commend the Manchester Police Department and the DEA on their thorough investigation of this case leading to the seizure of such a significant quantity of drugs and drug proceeds,” stated United States Attorney Emily Gray Rice. “Prosecuting those individuals who introduce dangerous narcotics into our community, and ensuring that they do not profit from doing so, is a critical priority of my office.”
“Those suffering from the disease of heroin addiction need access to treatment and recovery,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Ferguson. “But, those responsible for distributing lethal drugs like heroin and fentanyl to the citizens of New Hampshire need to be held accountable for their actions. In response to the ongoing opioid epidemic, DEA and its local, state and federal partners are committed to bringing to justice those that distribute this poison.”
According to statistics maintained by the State of New Hampshire, over half of the drug overdose deaths in New Hampshire in 2015 were related to fentanyl. Because a single gram of heroin or fentanyl can be used to create multiple individual dosage units that can be sold “on the street,” the quantity of fentanyl involved in this case could have generated hundreds of individual doses of fentanyl, each of which had the potential to cause a fatal overdose.
This case was supported by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). The OCDETF program is a federal multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional task force that supplies supplemental federal funding to federal and state agencies involved in the identification, investigation, and prosecution of major drug trafficking organizations. The case was investigated by the Manchester Police Department, the Massachusetts State Police, and the Drug Enforcement Administration and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Georgiana L. Konesky and Donald Feith.