CONCORD, NH – On April 25, 2018, U.S. Attorney Murray announced that 32 individuals were charged with participating in a fentanyl trafficking conspiracy. On July 11, a superseding indictment charged Sergio Martinez, 28, of Lawrence, Mass., with aiding and abetting a distribution of fentanyl that resulted in death. The indictment also charged four men – Martinez, Joshua Smith, 29, of Plaistow, Jesus Rivera, 20, of Lawrence, Mass., and Julio Saldana, 18, of Lawrence, Mass., with possessing firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Finally, the indictment charges Martinez, Raulin Martinez, 36, of Lawrence, Mass., and Luz Perez-Demartinez, 25, of Lawrence, Massachusetts, with money laundering.
Also, Luz DeJesus, 33, and Henry Marte, 21, both of Lawrence, Massachusetts, were charged with participating in a conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl.
If convicted, each defendant charged in the fentanyl distribution conspiracy faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life, as well as a fine of up to $10 million. If convicted of distribution of fentanyl resulting in death, Sergio Martinez faces a mandatory minimum of twenty years in prison and a maximum sentence of life, as well as a fine of up to $10 million.
The charges were the culmination of a year-long investigation by the DEA in coordination with federal, state, and local authorities in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Maine. In addition to the 34 defendants charged in this indictment, 13 people were charged in related indictments with conspiracy to distribute, and possess with intent to distribute, fentanyl.
The investigation, which culminated in the execution of various search warrants on April 9, 2018, led to the seizure of more than 30 kilograms of suspected fentanyl, two firearms, and over $500,000 in cash. In court documents, the government has alleged that the investigation targeted a drug trafficking organization led by the Martinez brothers, Sergio and Raulin. The conspiracy was extensive and organized. The Martinez brothers allegedly used a vast network of dispatchers and distributors to serve customers large and small with knowledge that a substantial amount of drugs were going to New Hampshire. They allegedly maintained a residence in Lawrence, Massachusetts, staffed by dispatchers who took drug orders over various “customer phones.” Dispatchers allegedly then communicated with distributors located throughout the Merrimack Valley to arrange for customers to meet them.
The indictments are allegations. The defendants are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
“New Hampshire knows all too well about the deadly nature of fentanyl,” said U.S. Attorney Murray. “We are fully committed to ending the opioid epidemic and will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to identify and prosecute those who are responsible for distributing fentanyl and other dangerous drugs.”
“DEA is committed to investigating and dismantling Drug Trafficking Organizations like this one who are responsible for distributing lethal drugs like fentanyl to the citizens of New Hampshire, said DEA Special Agent in Charge Brian D. Boyle. “DEA’s top priority is combatting the opioid epidemic by working with our local, county, state and federal partners to bring to justice anyone who distributes this poison.”
This investigation was the product of an investigation 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 a collaborative investigation that involved the DEA; the New Hampshire State Police; the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office; the Nashua Police Department; the Massachusetts State Police; the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office; the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office; the Essex County District Attorney’s Office; the Internal Revenue Service; Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations; United States Customs and Border Protection Boston Field Office; the United States Marshals Service; the United States Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service; the Manchester Police Department; the Lisbon Police Department; the Littleton Police Department; the Seabrook Police Department; the Haverhill (MA) Police Department; the Methuen (MA) Police Department; the Lowell (MA) Police Department; and the Maine State Police.
The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Georgiana L. Konesky, Seth R. Aframe, and Debra M. Walsh.