BOSTON: A Methuen man pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Boston to selling a fentanyl and acetyl fentanyl mixture to an undercover agent on five occasions.
Andi Guerrero-Lara, a/k/a “Manny Sierra,” 24, pleaded guilty to a seven count superseding indictment charging him with one count of conspiracy to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl and 100 grams or more of acetyl fentanyl; three counts of distribution and possession with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl and 10 grams or more of acetyl fentanyl; two counts of distribution and possession with intent to distribute 10 grams or more of acetyl fentanyl and fentanyl; and one count of possession with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of acetyl fentanyl and 40 grams or more of fentanyl. U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns scheduled sentencing for May 5, 2022.
In December 2019, Guerrero-Lara was indicted along with co-defendant Angel Rivera-Valle. He was subsequently charged in a superseding indictment on Sept. 2, 2020.
The defendants were members of a drug trafficking organization operating in the Merrimack Valley area of Massachusetts that regularly sold large quantities of fentanyl. Between September and October 2019, an undercover agent purchased a fentanyl and acetyl fentanyl mixture from the defendants on five separate dates. According to court documents, after Rivera-Valle was arrested, Guerrero-Lara led agents on a high-speed car chase that spanned numerous miles and three cities during which Guerrero-Lara endangered multiple lives, as he narrowly missed crashing into a construction zone and police vehicles. Ultimately, Guerrero-Lara stopped his vehicle at an apartment complex in Lawrence and was arrested.
On Sept. 8, 2020, Rivera-Valle was sentenced by Judge Sterns to 64 months in prison and four years of supervised release.
This case is part of a coordinated enforcement operation in the Merrimack Valley called “Devil’s Highway.” The operation targeted the distribution of opioids, including fentanyl and heroin, and resulted in charges against a total of 40 people for federal drug offenses, with at least a dozen more individuals facing state charges.
The charges of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl and 100 grams or more of acetyl fentanyl, and distribution and possession with intent to distribute 100 grams of acetyl fentanyl, each provide for a sentence of at least 10 years and up to life in prison, at least five years of supervised release and a fine of up to $10 million. The charge of distribution and possession with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl and 10 grams or more of acetyl fentanyl provides for a sentence of at least five years and up to 40 years in prison, at least four years of supervised release and a fine of up to $5 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 and Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Division made the announcement. Assistance was provided by the Massachusetts State Police and the Andover Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alathea E. Porter of Mendell’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit is prosecuting the case.