Lawrence Man Sentenced for Fentanyl Trafficking
BOSTON – A Lawrence, Massachusetts, man was sentenced today in federal court in Boston for his role in a drug trafficking conspiracy involving fentanyl.
Hector Minaya Melo, aka “El Jefe,” 35, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns to 54 months in prison. In May 2021, Minaya Melo pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl and two counts of distribution of 40 grams or more of fentanyl.
“Fentanyl is causing deaths in record numbers and DEA’s top priority is to aggressively pursue anyone who distributes this poison,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Brian D. Boyle. “This sentence serves as a warning to those traffickers who are fueling the opioid epidemic.”
From 2019 through 2020, Minaya Melo engaged in a drug conspiracy with his brother and co-defendant Junior Turbis to sell and deliver fentanyl and fentanyl analogue to a cooperating witness and an undercover agent in Lawrence, Massachusetts. As part of the conspiracy, Minaya Melo was involved in seven controlled purchases in which he delivered fentanyl and fentanyl analogue and collected payments for the drugs. In total, Minaya Melo was responsible for 342 grams of fentanyl and 151 grams of fentanyl analogue.
Turbis pleaded guilty to his role in the conspiracy and was sentenced on March 23, 2022 to 42 months in prison and two years of supervised release.
United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins and Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Field Division, made the announcement today. The investigation was conducted by the DEA’s Cross Border Initiative. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Timothy Kistner and Jared Dolan of Rollins’ Criminal Division prosecuted the case.