BOSTON — A former resident of Providence, Rhode Island was sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Boston for his role in a heroin and fentanyl trafficking organization that operated in Taunton and Boston.

Jose Arias, 22, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Leo T. Sorokin to five years of probation. In October 2017, Arias pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin and fentanyl. In February 2017, Arias was arrested and charged along with 22 co-defendants.

From mid-2016 through February 2017, federal law enforcement investigated two drug trafficking organizations operating in Taunton and Boston. Fernando Hernandez ran a heroin and fentanyl trafficking organization in Taunton, assisted by Arias, his son. The organization sold heroin and fentanyl to customers who re-distributed the drugs.

It is alleged that Hernandez obtained drugs from a network of suppliers that included Jose Antonio Lugo-Guerrero, 32, a Dominican national who remains a fugitive, who operated a drug trafficking organization in Fall River and Boston.

Hernandez pleaded guilty in November; his sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 7, 2018.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Michael Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Boston Field Division; Colonel Kerry A. Gilpin, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Fall River Police Chief Daniel S. Racine; New Bedford Police Chief Joseph C. Cordeiro; Taunton Police Chief Edward James Walsh; Boston Police Commissioner William B. Evans; and Bristol Country District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Theodore B. Heinrich of Lelling’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit prosecuted the case.

--U.S. Attorney's Office