Lawrence Man Pleads Guilty to Distribution And Possession of Fentanyl

BOSTON – A Lawrence man pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Boston in connection with selling fentanyl.

John Mena, 24, pleaded guilty to one count of distribution and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl before U.S. District Court Judge William G. Young, who scheduled sentencing for April 6, 2020.

According to court documents, Mena sold approximately 13g of fentanyl in a transaction that an undercover agent witnessed. Mena was arrested in Lawrence on July 16, 2019, as part of a 10-week 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 distribution and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, a minimum of three years and up to a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of $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; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Essex County District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett; and Lawrence Police Chief Roy Vasque made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexandra Brazier of Lelling’s Office is prosecuting the case.