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BOSTON – A Dominican national previously residing in Lawrence was indicted by a federal grandy jury for fentanyl possession.

Esteban Nivar Araujo, 38, was indicted on one count of possession with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl. Araujo was charged by criminal complaint in October 2020 and arrested.

According to charging documents, on July 25, 2019, Nivar Araujo possessed with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl.

This case is 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 charging statute provides for a sentence of at least five years and up to 40 years in prison, a least four years of supervised release and a fine of up to $5 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 Lelling and Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Division made the announcement. Assistance was provided by the Massachusetts State Police and the Andover Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles B. Weinograd of Lelling’s office is prosecuting the case.

MIL Security OSI