Two Plead Guilty To Fentanyl Distribution
Concord, N.H.—Acting United States Attorney John J. Farley announced that Jose Serrano Ayuso, 31, and Lilian Zapata, a/k/a Marta Arus, 52, both previously of Manchester, New Hampshire, have pleaded guilty to their respective roles in a conspiracy to distribute fentanyl in 2016.
According to court records and statements in court, on several occasions between August and October of 2016, investigators used a cooperating individual to make purchases of heroin from Ayuso. On two occasions when Ayuso was unavailable, Zapata delivered the requested drugs. Laboratory analyses later showed that the defendants actually were distributing fentanyl.
During the execution of a search warrant at the defendants’ shared residence in Manchester in October 2016, investigators found more than 230 grams of fentanyl, a handgun, drug ledgers, over $5,000 of U.S. currency, and identifying documents in Ayuso’s bedroom. In the apartment kitchen, investigators found an iced tea container containing over 640 grams of fentanyl. Investigators also located a scale and a press for forming “fingers” of fentanyl for distribution in other areas of the apartment. In total, this investigation led to the seizure of more than one kilogram of fentanyl.
Ayuso’s plea agreement includes a binding stipulated sentence of 144 months’ incarceration, and Zapata’s plea agreement includes a binding stipulated sentence of 54 months’ incarceration. Zapata will be sentenced on January 5, 2018, and Ayuso will be sentenced on January 18, 2018.
“We work tirelessly each day with our law enforcement partners to combat the threats posed by fentanyl and other opioids,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Farley. “Fentanyl has been the cause of the vast majority of the overdose deaths in our state. I commend the work of the law enforcement officers in this case who successfully prevented this large quantity of fentanyl from being distributed.”
“Fentanyl remains the top cause of drug related deaths in New Hampshire and we will continue to pursue, seize, and disrupt illicit activities associated with the distribution and trafficking of opioids,” said Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division. “The FBI New Hampshire Safe Streets Gang Task Force is aggressively working to track down distributors like Ayuso and Zapata, who are recklessly poisoning our communities with these illegal drugs, bringing nothing but danger—and in far too many cases death—to the streets of our neighborhoods.”
The matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Safe Streets Gang Task Force, which consists of FBI Special Agents and members of the Manchester Police Department, the Hudson Police Department, the New Hampshire State Police, the Nashua Police Department, and the New Hampshire Department of Corrections Probation and Parole. Investigators also received assistance of the New Hampshire HIDTA. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles L. Rombeau.