Man sentenced to 17+ years for his role in 2015 $2.2 million drug operation

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CONCORD, NH – Zakee Stuart-Holt, 34, of Manchester, was sentenced to 210 months in federal prison based on convictions for conspiracy to distribute heroin and fentanyl, and money laundering.   Stuart-Hold previously had pleaded guilty to those offenses.

Related story: June 2015 – Shooting leads police to $2.2M heroin bust, major drug manufacturing operation in Mass.

According to court documents, Stuart-Hold distributed drugs in the Manchester area for about a year, beginning around July of 2014. Pursuant to a search warrant, law enforcement recovered approximately 1.8 kilograms of fentanyl and $198,000 in drug proceeds from an apartment occupied by the defendant and another individual. In addition, law enforcement seized approximately $560,000 in drug proceeds from a safe deposit box in the defendant’s name. The defendant was not employed at the time of the conspiracy and the currency recovered by law enforcement constituted proceeds of the defendant’s drug distribution conspiracy.

“I commend the Manchester Police Department and the DEA on their thorough investigation of this case leading to the seizure of such a significant quantity of drugs and drug proceeds,” stated United States Attorney Emily Gray Rice. “Prosecuting those individuals who introduce dangerous narcotics into our community, and ensuring that they do not profit from doing so, is a critical priority of my office.”

“Opioid abuse is at epidemic levels in New Hampshire,” said Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Ferguson.  “Let this sentence serve as an example to Drug Trafficking Organizations and individuals who distribute fentanyl and heroin in order to profit and destroy people’s lives, that DEA is committed to aggressively pursue and hold you accountable.  This investigation demonstrates the strength of collaborative law enforcement efforts in New Hampshire to intensely go after anyone who traffics these drugs.”

According to statistics maintained by the State of New Hampshire, over half of the drug overdose deaths in New Hampshire in 2015 were related to fentanyl.  Because a single gram of heroin or fentanyl can be used to create multiple individual dosage units that can be sold “on the street,” the quantity of fentanyl involved in this case could have generated hundreds of individual doses of fentanyl, each of which had the potential to cause a fatal overdose.

This case was supported 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 investigated by the Manchester Police Department, the Massachusetts State Police, and the Drug Enforcement Administration and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Georgiana L. Konesky and Donald Feith.

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