FALL RIVER — A 27-year-old New Bedford man with a lengthy criminal rap sheet, who was arrested last year with an illegal firearm and fentanyl, was sentenced to serve up to seven-and-a-half years in state prison, District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.

Edwin Ortiz pleaded guilty in Fall River Superior Court Monday to a two-count indictment charging him with possession of fentanyl with intent to distribute-subsequent offense and illegal possession of a firearm by a violent offender.

On July 21, 2016, New Bedford Police executed a search warrant at 810 Brock Avenue, Apt. #2 with the target being the defendant. Once inside the apartment, the defendant led police to a bedroom telling them, "I’ll show you what you’re here for.” The defendant directed officers to a Rubbermaid tote, where police find a bag of heroin laced with fentanyl and a Hi-Point C-9 Luger handgun. The firearm was unsecured without a trigger lock and contained seven rounds of ammunition in the magazine.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Matthew Sylvia and the five to seven-and-a-half-year prison term was handed down by Judge Thomas McGuire.

The defendant has at least five prior convictions for assaultive behavior, drug distribution and firearm offenses.

“This defendant has a history of violence going back over ten years. He is possessing with the intent to distribute heroin laced with fentanyl which has significantly contributed to the increase of fatal overdoes in our communities. This defendant clearly is a danger to the community and should be kept off the streets of New Bedford,” District Attorney Quinn said. “Drug dealing and possession of firearms is a very dangerous combination which contributes to the violence in our communities. Hopefully, this sentence accomplishes that.”

--Bristol County District Attorney's Office