BOSTON – A Dominican national was convicted yesterday by a federal jury in Boston in relation to the seizure of over 10 kilograms of fentanyl and heroin in December 2018.
Carlos Soto-Villar, 34, a Dominican national formerly residing in Lawrence, was convicted by a jury of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin and 400 grams or more of fentanyl. U.S. District Court Judge Patti B. Saris scheduled sentencing for Jan. 27, 2021.
According to the trial testimony, on Dec. 6, 2018, Soto-Villar supplied a kilogram of fentanyl to co-defendant Ana Caraballo. The kilogram of fentanyl was later seized by police on Dec. 7, 2018. A search at the Methuen apartment used by Soto-Villar and co-defendant Angel Valdez as a drug stash house, resulted in the seizure of over nine kilograms of fentanyl and heroin and drug processing equipment. Soto-Villar fled from the apartment and was apprehended a short distance away.
The operation was conducted by a multi-agency task force through the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), a partnership between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply. More information on the OCDETF program is available here: https://www.justice.gov/ocdetf/about-ocdetf.
Soto-Villar faces a sentence of at least 10 years and up to life in prison, at least five years and up to a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of up to $10,000,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
U.S. Attorney Lelling and Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration New England Field Division made the announcement. Assistance was also provided by the Massachusetts State Police and the Methuen Police Department. AUSA Linda M. Ricci, Chief of Lelling’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit, and Katherine Ferguson, Deputy Chief of the Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit, are prosecuting the case.