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Dominican National Sentenced for Fentanyl Conspiracy

BOSTON – A Dominican national was sentenced yesterday for his role in a conspiracy to distribute fentanyl. 

Julio Cesar Baez, 50, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV to 30 months in prison and three years of supervised release. In November 2018, Baez pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute more than 400 grams or more of fentanyl, and one count of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of more than 400 grams of fentanyl.

According to court records, as part of an ongoing drug trafficking investigation, law enforcement agents intercepted telephones used by Wareng Jhonny Villar-Ortiz and another member of the conspiracy, both of whom are also Dominican nationals, and determined that Villar-Ortiz was a mid-level drug distributor, who had received a kilogram of drugs in late January 2018. In February 2018, Villar-Ortiz was dissatisfied with the quality of the drugs and made arrangements to return the drugs. On Feb. 14, 2018, agents observed Villar-Ortiz’s supplier exit Villar-Ortiz’s apartment building, get into his car, and drive off. A short while later, agents observed Baez exit the vehicle and enter a second vehicle. Law enforcement officers then stopped the second vehicle and seized approximately 789 grams of fentanyl from Baez.

According to court records, Baez was as a runner responsible for delivering fentanyl from the supplier. Three other members of the conspiracy, including Villar-Ortiz, have been convicted in connection with the investigation, but have not yet been sentenced.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; and Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Division, made the announcement.  Valuable assistance was provided by the Boston, Ipswich, and Arlington Police Departments.  Assistant U.S. Attorney James E. Arnold of Lelling’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit prosecuted the case.

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