A 42-year-old Fall River fentanyl dealer connected to a larger drug trafficking group was sentenced by a judge Thursday to serve up to five years in state prison.

Charles Belisle pleaded guilty in Fall River Superior Court to indictments charging him with two counts of criminal conspiracy to violate the drug laws and one count of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.

In September of 2019, the Fall River Police Vice Unit and Massachusetts State Police detectives assigned to the DA's office began a joint investigation into the so-called Michael Rebello drug trafficking organization. The investigation was known as Operation Mouse Trap.

Investigators assembled enough evidence to obtain a wiretap warrant for Rebello’s phone and worked to identify his associates and suppliers. Ultimately, warrants were obtained for seven phones. On December 20, 2019, law enforcement agents from Massachusetts and Rhode Island executed 11 search warrants, arrested 16 individuals, and seized large quantities of fentanyl and cocaine.

Belisle was arrested at his home at 61 Covel Street. Police seized $3,000 in cash and around 1,200 blue glassine bags of fentanyl amounting to roughly 24 grams. The cash was subsequently forfeited.

Belisle was associated with Rebello but operating separately from him. They were both buying fentanyl from a supplier in Rhode Island. During the investigation, Belisle was heard making arrangements for drug purchases on a regular basis, the DA's office said.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Daniel Walsh, and the three-and-a-half to five years state prison term was imposed by Judge Renee Dupuis.

"These convictions were obtained as a result of a court-ordered wiretap relating to the sale of fentanyl in the city of Fall River. I am pleased that the defendant was held accountable for selling the lethal drug fentanyl, which he was profiting from. He has a lengthy criminal record," District Attorney Quinn said in a statement.

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