Massachusetts Man Sentenced to 150 Months for Participating in Fentanyl Trafficking Conspiracy
CONCORD - Steven Lessard, 34, of Lowell, Massachusetts, was sentenced on Thursday to 150 months in federal prison for participating in a fentanyl trafficking conspiracy, Acting United States Attorney John J. Farley announced today.
According to court documents and statements made in court, a drug trafficking organization (DTO) led by Sergio Martinez operated in the Lawrence, Massachusetts area. The DTO sold fentanyl to customers from various New England states including New Hampshire. The DTO operated two sets of telephones to serve large and small customers. These customers placed fentanyl orders by phone and were directed by DTO members to various distributors located in and around Lawrence to obtain the fentanyl.
The DTO also had a third set of larger customers. These customers purchased kilogram quantities of fentanyl from the DTO and were able to contact Martinez directly on his personal telephone. For those customers, Martinez would arrange for a member of the DTO to deliver the drugs to the customer instead of requiring the customer to come meet a DTO member to obtain the drugs. Lessard was one of these customers who purchased kilogram quantities of fentanyl.
Beginning January 29, 2018 and ending March 14, 2018, Lessard was intercepted on wiretaps communicating with Martinez and arranging to obtain fentanyl deliveries. On March 14, 2018, the two spoke and arranged for Martinez to deliver two kilograms of fentanyl to Lessard later that night. After the delivery, the Lowell Police Department obtained a search warrant for Lessard’s residence. Officers seized over two kilograms of fentanyl and multiple firearms. In addition, officers located a scale, several thousand dollars, and the telephone that Lessard used to contact Martinez.
Lessard previously pleaded guilty on September 30, 2019. Martinez is serving a 45-year prison sentence.
“Fentanyl is such an extremely dangerous drug that even a small amount can lead to a deadly overdose,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Farley. “By trafficking in kilogram quantities of fentanyl, Lessard was seeking to profit by selling a product that jeopardized many lives. To protect the citizens of the Granite State, we will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to put drug traffickers like Lessard out of business.”
“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. “This investigation demonstrates the strength and continued commitment of our local, state and federal law enforcement partners.”
The case was a collaborative investigation that involved the Drug Enforcement Administration; the New Hampshire State Police; the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office; the Nashua Police Department; the Massachusetts State Police; the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office; the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office; the Essex County District Attorney’s Office; the Internal Revenue Service; Homeland Security Investigations; United States Customs and Border Protection Boston Field Office; the United States Marshals Service; the United States Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service; the Manchester Police Department; the Lisbon Police Department; the Littleton Police Department; the Seabrook Police Department; the Haverhill (MA) Police Department; the Methuen (MA) Police Department; the Lowell (MA) Police Department; and the Maine State Police.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Georgiana L. MacDonald and Seth R. Aframe.
This investigation is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.