BOSTON — A Fall River man pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Boston to his role in a heroin and fentanyl trafficking operation in Taunton and surrounding communities.

Christian Sostre, 23, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute heroin and fentanyl. U.S. District Court Judge George A. O’Toole Jr. scheduled sentencing for Oct. 10, 2017.

After a 15-month investigation, Sostre and 24 others were arrested and charged in October 2015 in connection with a heroin trafficking ring led by Dedwin Cruz-Rivera operating primarily in southeastern Massachusetts. An April 2016 superseding indictment brought the total number of defendants charged to 26.

Sostre assisted co-defendant Dedwin Cruz-Rivera, who is scheduled to change his plea on July 14, 2017, with all aspects of the drug trafficking operation. Sostre took delivery of illegal narcotics, helped prepare the drugs for resale, delivered money to pay for drugs, collected money from the operation’s customers, and drove Cruz-Rivera to various locations in connection with the drug trafficking.

All but three of the conspirators charged have pleaded guilty and 14 of the defendants have already been sentenced.

The charge of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute heroin and fentanyl provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, a minimum of three years and up to a lifetime of supervised release, and a fine of up to $1 million. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb and Michael J. Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Field Division, made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas E. Kanwit and Karen Beausey of Weinreb’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit are prosecuting the cases.

--U.S. Attorney's Office