BOSTON – A Methuen man pleaded guilty on Aug. 3, 2022 in federal court in Boston to his involvement in a fentanyl distribution conspiracy.
Nino De Leon Guzman, a/k/a “Chino,” 31, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl, two counts of distribution of fentanyl, one count of distribution of 40 grams or more of fentanyl and one count of possession with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl. U.S. District Court Judge Allison D. Burroughs scheduled sentencing for Oct. 27, 2022. Guzman was charged in June 2021 and subsequently indicted by a federal grand jury in July 2021.
From October 2020 through in or about June 2021, undercover law enforcement agents purchased fentanyl from Guzman and his associated drug trafficking organization on nine separate occasions in the Lawrence and Methuen area. At the time of his arrest on June 23, 2021, Guzman was found in possession of fentanyl and the cell phone undercover agents used to call him for fentanyl deals. A subsequent search of Guzman’s residence in Methuen resulted in the recovery of a kilogram brick of fentanyl, a blender containing multiple bags of fentanyl, a drug ledger, clothing he had worn in prior drug transactions and a sock in a nightstand containing $2,500 cash in drug proceeds.
“Drug traffickers who pedal the poison that is fentanyl will be aggressively prosecuted by our office,” said First Assistant United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy. “The quantities at issue in this prosecution put real lives at risk and inflict a huge amount of harm on the hardworking people of Lawrence and Methuen who want to raise their families in communities free from drug trafficking and violence.”
“Fentanyl is causing tremendous damage to the state of Massachusetts,” Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Boston Field Division. “This court proceeding should act as a warning to those traffickers who are distributing this poison in order to profit and destroy people’s lives. DEA’s top priority is combatting the opioid epidemic by working with our local, county, state and federal partners to bring to justice anyone who distributes this deadly drug.”
The charges of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl and possession with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl each provide for a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and up to life in prison, at least five years and up to a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of up to $10 million.
The charges of distribution of 40 grams or more of fentanyl each provide for a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and up to 40 years in prison, at least four years and up to a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of $5 million. The charge of distribution of fentanyl provides for up to 20 years in prison, at least 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 statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.
United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins, First Assistant U.S. Attorney Levy and DEA SAC Boyle made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lindsey E. Weinstein of Rollins’ Narcotics & Money Laundering Unit is prosecuting the case.