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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Hampshire

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 2, 2017

Massachusetts Man Sentenced For 204 Months For Heroin And Fentanyl Distribution Conspiracy

            CONCORD, N.H. – Rafael Nicolas Lopez-Carrasco, a/k/a Jose Casellas, of Lawrence, Massachusetts, was sentenced to 204 months in federal prison after pleading guilty in the United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire to a federal indictment charging him with one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with the intent to distribute heroin and fentanyl, announced United States Attorney Emily Gray Rice.

 

            According to court documents, the defendant distributed drugs in Massachusetts and New Hampshire since at least July of 2014. On June 24, 2015, the defendant supplied approximately two kilograms of fentanyl to a third person who had the drugs delivered to an address on Winter Street in Manchester, New Hampshire. On June 25, 2016, law enforcement seized an additional three kilograms of fentanyl as the defendant was attempting to deliver it in Massachusetts. A search of the defendant’s residence in Lawrence led to the discovery of an additional one kilogram of fentanyl and 922 grams of heroin. Law enforcement also seized $12,000 in United States currency, several kilograms of cutting agent and three firearms.

 

            The defendant’s 204-month sentence was ordered to run concurrently to a 10 to 12 year sentence he is serving in Massachusetts. He will be deported after completing his federal 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.”

 

            "Opioid abuse is at epidemic levels in New Hampshire," said Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Ferguson. "Fentanyl and heroin are causing overdose deaths across the Granite State in record numbers, and DEA is committed to aggressively pursue Drug Trafficking Organizations and individuals who are coming from out of state to distribute these poisons across New Hampshire in order to profit and destroy people's lives and wreak havoc in our communities. This investigation demonstrates the strength and continued commitment of our local, state and federal law enforcement partners."

            According to statistics maintained by the State of New Hampshire, the vast majority of the drug overdose deaths in New Hampshire in 2016 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.

 

 

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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated February 2, 2017