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Lawrence Man Pleads Guilty to Interstate Opioid Trafficking Conspiracy

BOSTON – Two men pleaded guilty in federal court in Boston to their roles in an opioid trafficking conspiracy involving the distribution of fentanyl, heroin, and oxycodone across Massachusetts and Florida.

Johnny Urena, 30, of Lawrence, pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess heroin and fentanyl with intent to distribute, one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute oxycodone, and one count of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments.

Jenssi Astacio, 32, of Sunny Isles Beach, Fla., also pleaded guilty today to one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute oxycodone and one count of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments.

U.S. District Court Judge Denise J. Casper scheduled their sentencings for July 24, 2018, and July 31, 2018, respectively.

Urena and Astacio were arrested along with seven others in March 2017 for their roles in a widespread conspiracy involving opioid trafficking and money laundering offenses in Massachusetts and Florida. Their arrests were the result of a three-year federal investigation into opioid-trafficking in New England.

From at least 2014, Urena conspired with co-defendants to sell quantities of heroin and/or fentanyl in Massachusetts, and to receive, transport, and distribute large quantities of oxycodone pills shipped from Florida to Massachusetts. Urena then deposited the cash proceeds of drug sales into various funnel bank accounts in order to conceal the nature and ownership of the funds.

Astacio shipped – and directed other co-conspirators to ship – large quantities of oxycodone pills from Florida to Massachusetts, negotiated with other co-conspirators the sale of oxycodone pills for redistribution, and directed co-conspirators to use bank accounts to launder the cash proceeds of their illicit sale of drugs.

Co-defendants Darren Infante, Juan Reyes, George Noukas, Moses Rodriguez, Craig Drummond, and Gorky Gonzalez have pleaded guilty. Infante is scheduled to be sentenced on May 23; Reyes’ sentencing is scheduled for June 20; Noukas and Rodriguez are scheduled to be sentenced on June 25; and Drummond and Gonzalez are scheduled to be sentenced on July 17.

 The charges of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin and fentanyl provides for a sentence of no greater than 40 years in prison, a lifetime of supervised release, a fine of $5 million, and forfeiture.

The charges of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute oxycodone provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, a lifetime of supervised release, a fine of up to $1 million, and forfeiture

The charge of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, up to five years of supervised release, a fine of up to $500,000, or twice the value of the property laundered, and forfeiture. 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; Albert Angelucci, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Boston Field Division; Kristina O’Connell, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston; Raymond Moss, Acting Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; John Gibbons, U.S. Marshal for the District of Massachusetts; and Mickey D. Leadingham, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, Boston Field Division, made the announcement today.

Valuable assistance was provided by the Massachusetts State Police and the Biddeford (Maine), Framingham, Haverhill, Lawrence, Manchester (N.H.), Methuen, Millis, Natick, Stoughton, and Waltham Police Departments. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nadine Pellegrini and Craig Estes of Lelling’s Office are prosecuting the cases.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The remaining defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Tom Duggan

Tom Duggan

Tom Duggan is president and publisher of The Valley Patriot Newspaper in North Andover, Massachusetts. He is an author, host of the Paying Attention TV/Radio Program, lectures on media bias and police issues, is a former Lawrence School Committeeman, former political director for Mass. Citizens Alliance, and a 1990 Police Survivor. You can email your comments to valleypatriot@aol.com.

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One Response to Lawrence Man Pleads Guilty to Interstate Opioid Trafficking Conspiracy

  1. Dazed & Confused Reply

    April 30, 2018 at 4:58 AM

    I know you guys have to leave your comments and do your job but trust me Governor King as a young kid made me an honorary constable which put me on a Toya Joe scam that her on video the weather couple of corrupt cops destroying my car and it was a gift from my son who lost his mother and still made it through high school and graduating college with that Hara so this is personal but the War on Drugs is fake I assure you I know more cops and I know more we’ll leave it at that stop believing CNN please just because you’re a wasp doesn’t mean that you’re privy to the real information out of Boston

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