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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Vermont

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 26, 2018

Mother and Daughter Morrisville Residents Charged With Distributing Fentanyl, Heroin, and Oxycodone

The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that a federal grand jury returned an Indictment yesterday charging Esperanza Delarosa, 50, and her daughter Susan Mateo, 25, with conspiracy to distribute heroin, fentanyl, and oxycodone. The indictment also alleges numerous counts of distribution of those substances, and contains a forfeiture allegation seeking the criminal forfeiture of a property owned by Mateo in Morrisville, Vermont.

According to Court documents, in September of 2017, special agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration joined an ongoing and long-term investigation of the Morristown Police Department concerning the trafficking and distribution of oxycodone and heroin in the Morrisville area. DEA agents, assisted by the Morristown Police Department, Stowe Police Department, and Lamoille County Sherriff’s Department, then conducted numerous controlled purchases of fentanyl-laced heroin and oxycodone pills from both Delarosa and Mateo. Delarosa and Mateo, initially traveled to Lamoille County from the Bronx, New York, where they reside. During the course of the investigation, they purchased a home in Morrisville. Multiple drug transactions occurred at Mateo’s property in Morrisville, while others occurred in the parking lots of various Lamoille County businesses. Mateo primarily sold the confidential informant oxycodone, while Delarosa primarily sold the confidential informant fentanyl-laced heroin. The sales by Delarosa to the confidential informant included multiple sales of 10-gram quantities of fentanyl-laced heroin.

On the evening of January 23, 2018, both Delarosa and Mateo were arrested by agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration. On the same evening, agents executed search warrants at Delarosa and Mateo’s residences in Morrisville, Vermont, and the Bronx, New York. On January 24, 2018, Delarosa and Mateo appeared before the Honorable John M. Conroy, United States Magistrate Judge for the District of Vermont, and were temporarily detained pending a detention hearing scheduled for this afternoon.

The United States Attorney emphasizes that the charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations and that Delarosa and Mateo are presumed innocent unless and until they are proven guilty. If either defendant is convicted, she will face a maximum possible sentence of twenty years on each count of conviction.

United States Attorney Christina E. Nolan commended the efforts of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Morristown Police Department, the Stowe Police Department, and the Lamoille County Sherriff’s Department in the investigation of Delarosa and Mateo. Nolan added: “This case is a shining example of what we can accomplish when federal, state, and local law enforcement collaborate and pool resources to combat those who profit from the sale of deadly drugs. We will continue to partner closely to bring these high-impact cases across the state, including in small communities that are ravaged by opiate traffickers.”

“The DEA is committed to investigating and bringing to justice those who illicitly distribute oxycodone,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge of the New England Field Division Michael J. Ferguson. “Opiate abuse is a major problem in Vermont and throughout New England. The diversion of prescription pain killers, in this case oxycodone, contributes to the widespread abuse of opiates, is the gateway to heroin and fentanyl addiction, and is devastating our communities. This investigation demonstrates the strength of collaborative local, county and state law enforcement efforts in Vermont and our strong partnership with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to aggressively pursue any group or individual that traffics these drugs.”

“This arrest reflects Morristown Police Department’s strong commitment to bring to justice those that decide to distribute heroin and oxycodone in our community.” said Morristown Police Chief Richard Keith. “Morristown PD and its local, state, and federal law enforcement partners will continue to do everything in our power to keep these highly addictive drugs off the streets of Morristown and surrounding towns. This investigation demonstrates the strengths of collaborative law enforcement between Morristown PD, Stowe PD, Lamoille CSD, and the DEA as well as the strong partnership with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to aggressively pursue anyone who traffics this poison.”

“I have had a positive working relationship with the DEA and the U.S. Attorney’s office for the District of Vermont for over 30 years,” said Lamoille County Sheriff Roger Marcoux. “Even though Lamoille County is very rural, these two Department of Justice agencies assisted our small communities to investigate and prosecute an entire drug trafficking organization with out-of-state infrastructure. We continue to do our part and they have stepped up and are doing their part to ensure people understand there is a consequence for trafficking opiates in our community.”

“This has been a lengthy investigation that started at the local level and as it developed, we partnered with the DEA, due to the potential size and logistics of this investigation,” said Stowe Police Chief Donald B. Hull. “This investigation has been a partnering of local and federal investigators, who worked many hours to bring this investigation to an end. These types of arrests will have a positive impact on our local communities.”

The United States is represented in this matter by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan A. Ophardt. Delarosa is represented by Assistant Federal Public Defender David McColgin. Mateo is represented by Maryanne Kampmann, Esq. The investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Morristown Police Department, the Stowe Police Department, and the Lamoille County Sheriff’s Department. Assistance was also provided by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, as well as DEA’s New York Field Division.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Opioids
Prescription Drugs
Component(s): 
Updated January 26, 2018