BOSTON – A Haverhill man pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Boston to distributing fentanyl in 2019.
Wilfredo Rivera, 32, pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl. U.S. District Court Nathaniel M. Gorton scheduled sentencing for March 3, 2021.
On Aug. 15, 2019, Rivera was arrested after purchasing eight grams of fentanyl for distribution. He was indicted in October 2019 as part of a coordinated enforcement operation in the Merrimack Valley called “Devil’s Highway.” The operation targeted the distribution of opioids, including fentanyl and heroin, and resulted in charges against a total of 40 people for federal drug offenses, with at least a dozen more individuals facing state charges.
The charge of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, at least three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $1 million. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division made the announcement. Valuable assistance was provided by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Massachusetts State Police and the North Andover Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Eve A. Piemonte of Lelling’s Office is prosecuting the case.