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            CONCORD – Juan Jose Gonzalez Ramirez, also known as Lucas Rios, 42, of the Dominican Republic, was sentenced on Monday to 144 months in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute fentanyl in a seven-defendant drug trafficking case, United States Attorney Scott W. Murray announced today.

            According to court documents and statements made in court, between January of 2018 and January of 2019, Ramirez conspired with other persons to distribute fentanyl in the Manchester area and to collect the proceeds of fentanyl sales.  The proceeds were delivered to Ramirez, who was based in Lawrence, Massachusetts.  During that period, investigators made multiple controlled buys and seizures of fentanyl from Ramirez and his co-conspirators in the Manchester area.  Although he sometimes traveled to New Hampshire during the conspiracy, Ramirez typically remained in Massachusetts, took orders for drugs from his customers by telephone, and directed co-conspirators to meet his customers in New Hampshire, deliver fentanyl, and collect the proceeds. 

           Ramirez previously pleaded guilty on September 16, 2019.  After serving his sentence, he faces likely removal to the Dominican Republic.   

           Co-defendants Israel Perez, Abelino Morales-Padilla, Jose Hiram Martinez Rolon, Karina Reyes, Samuel Ramos, and Billy Damuel Maldonado Cancel previously pleaded guilty to fentanyl trafficking charges in the same case. Perez was sentenced to 168 months, Morales-Padilla was sentenced to 42 months, Rolon was sentenced to 30 months, Ramos was sentenced to 22 months and Cancel was sentenced to 33 months. Reyes received a time-served sentence. 

           “Distributing fentanyl in New Hampshire carries serious unpleasant consequences for those responsible” said U.S. Attorney Murray.  “This 144-month sentence puts interstate drug dealers on notice that their illegal activities will lead to federal prison.  In order to stop the deadly flow of fentanyl into our cities and towns, federal, state and local law enforcement officers are working every day to disrupt criminal conspiracies such as this one.  Traffickers should expect that they will be brought to justice”. 

           “The worldwide pandemic has not slowed down the efforts of those who threaten our communities with the deadly scourge of fentanyl,” said David Magdycz, Special Agent in Charge, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Boston. “The arrest and sentencing of this individual are the results of the tireless work and cooperation between New Hampshire State Police and our agents. The result is lives saved and a safer community.” 

            This matter was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the New Hampshire State Police.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John S. Davis.

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