October 13, 2016 -Boston- Fourteen individuals were indicted today in U.S. District Court in Springfield in connection with a large-scale heroin trafficking organization that was supplied by sources in the Dominican Republic and New York.
Thirteen men and one woman from Springfield, Mass. and Bronx, NY were indicted on conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin. On Sept. 22, 2016, all of the following individuals, with the exception of Carlos Sierra (aka Rivera) who remains a fugitive at large, were arrested and charged in a criminal complaint with conspiring to distribute heroin:
- Alberto Marte, 31 of Springfield;
- Marcos Pena, 29, of Springfield;
- Julian Declet, 32, of Springfield;
- Jiovanni Rodriguez, 29, of Springfield;
- Jose Miguel Ramos, 36 of Springfield;
- Pablo Rosario, 32, of Bronx, NY;
- Carlos Sierra (aka Rivera), 40 of Springfield (fugitive);
- Mirelvy Vasquez, 26, of Springfield;
- Diolfi Antonio Marte Vasquez, 25, of Springfield;
- Anthony Patino, 31, of Springfield;
- Juan Perez, 29, of Springfield;
- Eduardo Ferndandez, 38, of Hazelton, Penn.;
- Anyuly Tavarez, 30, of Springfield; and
- William Brantley, 45 of Springfield.
According to court documents, Alberto Marte, the head of a drug trafficking organization, had direct contact with heroin supply sources in the Dominican Republic. On a monthly basis, members of the organization transported between eight and 20 kilograms of heroin to the Springfield area. The organization then packaged the heroin and distributed it using a variety of stamps, including “Donald Trump” and “Hollywood.” The Hollywood brand of heroin has been associated with a number of overdose deaths in western New England that occurred in late 2015 and early 2016. During the course of the investigation, more than five kilos of heroin was seized by federal agents.
This case was brought as part of the federal response to the growing opioid abuse epidemic in Massachusetts and other New England states. Heroin is highly addictive, and users can quickly develop a tolerance, prompting them to seek higher potencies and greater quantities of the narcotic. Between 2000 and 2014, opioid overdose deaths have more than tripled with a spike in recent years in Massachusetts.
The charge of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 1000 grams or more of heroin provides for a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years and up to life in prison, a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of $350,000. The charge of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute a quantity of heroin provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of $55,000. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
U.S. Attorney Ortiz; District Attorney Gulluni; DEA SAC Ferguson; Matthew Etre, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; Colonel Richard D. McKeon, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Springfield Commissioner Barbieri; Chicopee Police Chief William Jebb; Holyoke Police Chief James Neiswanger; and West Springfield Police Chief Ronald Campurciani, made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Neil Desroches of Ortiz’s Springfield Branch Office is prosecuting the case.
The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendants are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.