BOSTON – A Taunton man was sentenced Wednesday in federal court in Boston for trafficking heroin and fentanyl in southeastern Massachusetts.

Oniel Rivera, 30, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge George A. O’Toole Jr. to five years in prison and three years of supervised release. In May 2017, Rivera pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin and fentanyl.

In October 2015, Rivera was arrested and charged along with 24 others in connection with a heroin trafficking ring operating in southeastern Massachusetts; an April 2016 superseding indictment brought the number of defendants charged in the case to 26. The charges were the result of a 15-month investigation into heroin and drug trafficking in the Taunton area.

The investigation revealed that Rivera purchased heroin from co-defendant Dedwin Cruz-Rivera, who received the drugs from three other co-defendants: Eric Matos, a former heroin and fentanyl supplier based in Lawrence; Manuel Romero-Gonsalez, a former heroin supplier based in Providence, R.I.; and Jonathan Ruiz, a former Lawrence drug supplier, among others.

On July 28, 2017, Matos was sentenced to 121 months in prison; in April 2017, Romero-Gonsalez was sentenced to 66 months in prison and will be subject to deportation upon completion of his sentence; Ruiz pleaded guilty and is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 28, 2017. In July 2017, Cruz-Rivera pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin and 40 grams or more of fentanyl. He will be sentenced on Oct. 12, 2017. Numerous other defendants in this case have pled guilty and been sentenced.

Acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb 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 and Karen Beausey of Weinreb’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit are prosecuting the cases.

-U.S. Attorney's Office

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