A Pawtucket, R.I. man will spend a decade in federal prison for his role in a “a wide-ranging operation” that distributed heroin and cocaine throughout Bristol County in Massachusetts and also in Providence, officials said.
Jorge Luis Sanchez-Lopez, 43, received a 10-year prison term at his sentencing Wednesday in US District Court in Boston, according to the office of US Attorney Andrew E. Lelling. Sanchez-Lopez previously pleaded guilty in the same courthouse to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five kilograms of cocaine, Lelling’s office said in a statement.
Prosecutors said Sanchez-Lopez was one of 10 people who imported cocaine from Puerto Rico and brought it to New Bedford and Fall River, and also distributed heroin, fentanyl, and acetyl fentanyl in Bristol County in southeastern Massachusetts.
“Sanchez-Lopez coordinated shipments of cocaine through the U.S. mail with the assistance of co-defendant Chindy Diaz, who received cocaine-filled packages on Luis Lopez’s behalf and delivered it to Luis Lopez at his Fall River residence,” the release said. “Co-conspirator Israel Santiago also helped coordinate the receipt of cocaine on behalf of Luis Lopez, who then sold the cocaine to other drug dealers, including Nuno Fonseca and Tyson Britto.”
All 10 members of the crew were charged criminally in 2016, and they’ve all pleaded guilty to various counts and been sentenced, according to the statement.
In a recent court filing in Sanchez-Lopez’s case, Assistant US Attorney Eric S. Rosen wrote that a 10-year bid is appropriate for the convicted felon.
“As this Court is well aware, Defendant was a wholesale supplier of cocaine to a drug trafficking organization (DTO) based in New Bedford run by Luis Lopez,” Rosen wrote. “As the plea agreement makes clear, the evidence showed that Defendant conspired to distribute between 20 and 25 kilograms of cocaine. This large quantity of cocaine was shipped from Puerto Rico to the New Bedford area. Thus, given Defendant’s prominent role in such a major DTO, a 10-year sentence is just and appropriate.”
Sanchez-Lopez will spend five years on supervised release once he’s freed, prosecutors said.