Lawrence Man Pleads Guilty to Distributing Fentanyl Pills

BOSTON – A Lawrence man pleaded guilty today in federal court in Boston in connection with distributing fentanyl pills.

Ruben Mejia, 28, pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of fentanyl and heroin, two counts of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of 40 grams or more of fentanyl and heroin and one count of possession with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl and heroin. U.S. Senior District Court Judge William G. Young scheduled sentencing for Jan. 12, 2022. Mejia was arrested and charged in September 2020.

On Aug. 13, 2020, Mejia sold an estimated 500 fentanyl pills disguised as oxycodone pills for $4,000 ($8 per pill). Mejia sold the pills, which he stored in a baby diaper, in five bags containing approximately 100 pills each. On Aug. 26, 2020, Mejia sold another estimated 500 fentanyl pills for $4,000. Mejia was arrested on Sept. 11, 2020 after he was found in possession of an estimated 5,000 fentanyl pills, which he planned to sell for $40,000.

The charge of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of fentanyl and heroin provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, at least three years and up to life of supervised release and a fine of up to $1 million. The charge of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of 40 grams or more of fentanyl and heroin provides for a sentence of at least five years and up to 40 years in prison, at least four years and up to life of supervised release and a fine of up to $5 million. The charge of possession with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl and heroin provides for a sentence of at least 10 years and up to life in prison, at least five years and up to life of supervised release and a fine of up to $10 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 Nathaniel R. Mendell; Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Field Division; and Lawrence Police Chief Roy Vasque made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Estes of Mendell’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit is prosecuting the case.

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