BOSTON – A Dominican national, who led a large-scale heroin and fentanyl trafficking organization in southeastern Massachusetts, was sentenced today in federal court in Boston.

Dedwin Cruz-Rivera, 41, a Dominican national residing in Fall River, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge George A. O’Toole Jr. to 12 years in prison and five years of supervised release. Cruz-Rivera will be subject to deportation upon completion of his sentence. In July 2017, Cruz-Rivera pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin and 40 grams or more of fentanyl.

In October 2015, Cruz-Rivera was arrested and charged, along with 24 others, for leading a heroin and fentanyl trafficking organization in southeastern Massachusetts. Cruz-Rivera obtained large quantities of heroin and fentanyl from local drug suppliers, including his brother Manuel Romero-Gonsalez, and Eric Matos, who distributed in and around Fall River and Providence, R.I.  Cruz-Rivera used co-defendant Cristian Sostre as a courier and stash house operator in order to decrease the likelihood that he would be detected by law enforcement.  During the course of their investigation, federal agents seized 295 grams of fentanyl that were  en route to Cruz-Rivera.

An April 2016 superseding indictment brought the total number of defendants charged in the case to 26. All of the 26 defendants charged in the case have pleaded guilty, and 23 have been sentenced, including Romero-Gonsalez and Matos, who are serving 66 months and 121 months in federal prison, respectively.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and Michael J. Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Boston Field Division, made the announcement today.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas E. Kanwit, Karen Beausey, Katherine Ferguson and Ann Taylor of Lelling’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit are prosecuting the cases.