Two Sentenced for 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 been sentenced to federal prison for their 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.
Both Zapata and Ayuso pleaded guilty in fall 2017. On January 5, 2018, Zapata received a sentence of 54 months in prison. On January 18, 2018, Ayuso received a sentence of 144 months in prison.
“As our state grapples with the challenges of the opioid crisis, there are still those who seek to profit from the sale of fentanyl and other deadly drugs,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Farley. “Far too many lives in New Hampshire have been lost to drug overdoses. Those who choose to sell fentanyl and other deadly drugs are endangering their customers and causing great damage to our community. We will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to stop the flow of fentanyl into the Granite State and to protect our community from further harm.”
“Mr. Ayuso and Ms. Zapata will now pay the price for their roles in a large scale drug operation that distributed more than a kilo of fentanyl, the top cause of drug related deaths in New Hampshire,” said Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Boston Division. “Each and every day, the FBI New Hampshire Safe Streets Gang Task Force is hard at work targeting distributors and their supply chains, who are blatantly contributing to the tragic opioid crisis that is wreaking havoc in communities all over our state.”
The matter was investigated by the FBI 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 was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles L. Rombeau.