Lawrence Man Sentenced for Interstate Opioid Trafficking Conspiracy

Five years in prison, four years of supervised release

BOSTON – A Lawrence man was sentenced in federal court in Boston yesterday for his role in an opioid trafficking conspiracy involving the distribution of fentanyl, heroin, and oxycodone across Massachusetts and Florida.  The trafficked substances may have reached some towns on Cape Cod.

Johnny Urena, 30, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Denise J. Casper to five years in prison and four years of supervised release. In April 2018, Urena pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin and 40 grams or more of fentanyl, one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute oxycodone, and one count of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments.

Urena was arrested along with several 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 2013, 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.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Brian D. Boyle, 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; Joseph W. Cronin, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s Boston Field Division; 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 prosecuted the case.


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