Worcester Man Convicted of Cocaine Distribution

BOSTON – A Worcester man was convicted by a federal jury today of distributing nearly one kilogram of cocaine.

Julio Rivera, 47, was convicted following a three-day jury trial of distribution and possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine. U.S. District Court Judge Timothy S. Hillman scheduled sentencing for Dec. 16, 2021. 

In October 2018, a federal investigation into co-conspirator Melvin Burgos intercepted numerous communications between Burgos and co-conspirator William Torres arranging to obtain one kilogram of cocaine from Rivera. On Nov. 1, 2018, Rivera led Burgos to his storage unit in Worcester where he distributed 900 grams of cocaine to Burgos. Agents subsequently stopped both Rivera and Burgos and a search of Rivera’s vehicle recovered the phone he used to communicate with Torres and Burgos, which he had attempted to destroy. A search of Burgos’ vehicle resulted in the seizure of the 900 grams of cocaine.

Torres and Burgos each pleaded guilty to their role in the conspiracy. On Feb. 26, 2021, Torres was sentenced to five years in prison and four years of supervised release. Burgos is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 30, 2021.

The charge of distribution and possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine provides for a sentence of up to 40 years in prison, at least four years and up to a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of $5 million. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel Mendell; Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Division; and Colonel Christopher Mason, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys John T. Mulcahy and Mackenzie A. Queenin of Mendell’s Criminal Division and William F. Abely, Chief of Mendell’s Criminal Division, prosecuted the case.

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