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Manchester Man Sentenced to Eight Years in Prison for Participating in Oxycodone Distribution Conspiracy

JAN 31 (CONCORD, N.H.) – Michael J. Ferguson Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England and United States Attorney Emily Gray Rice announced that Jose Nunez (61) of Manchester, was sentenced to serve eight years in federal prison for participating in a conspiracy to distribute oxycodone pills, a conspiracy to launder money, distributing controlled substances, and possessing a firearm during a drug trafficking crime.  

Court documents and statements in court showed that Nunez was part of group of drug traffickers who were distributing the pills in Manchester, New Hampshire.  During a law enforcement investigation in 2013 and 2014 that included the use of controlled purchases of drugs and multiple wiretaps, investigators learned that Nunez, Samuel Garcia, Jennifer Nunez, and others were actively involved in the distribution of oxycodone pills.  On multiple occasions, intercepted calls showed that members of the conspiracy (including Jose Nunez and Raul Hernandez) traveled to New York, obtained pills from a source of supply (Manuel Tirado), and then brought them back to New Hampshire.  On one occasion, Jose Nunez was stopped in Massachusetts while transporting $18,900 in cash that was to be used to pay for oxycodone pills that were being supplied by Tirado.

Several targets of the investigation were arrested in Manchester on August 27, 2014.  Hernandez was arrested as he attempted to deliver over 600 oxycodone pills to the residence of Samuel Garcia and Jennifer Nunez on Eastern Avenue in Manchester, New Hampshire.  A search warrant was executed at that residence and hundreds of additional pills, as well as over $30,000 in cash and three firearms, were recovered from that location.  Garcia, Jennifer Nunez, and Johanna Nunez were arrested that day.  Jose Nunez was arrested in October of 2014, after returning to the United States from the Dominican Republic.

Jose Nunez pleaded guilty on March 6, 2015, to: (1) Conspiracy to Distribute, and Possess with Intent to Distribute, a Controlled Substance; (2) four counts of Distribution of a Controlled Substance; (3) Conspiracy to Launder Monetary Instruments; and (4) Possession of a Firearm During a Drug Trafficking Crime.  After serving his prison sentence, he will be on supervised release for a period of three years.

All of the other individuals who were involved in this conspiracy also have pleaded guilty.

Samuel Garcia (36) pleaded guilty on March 24, 2015, to: (1) Conspiracy to Distribute, and Possess with Intent to Distribute, a Controlled Substance; (2) Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Distribute; (3) Conspiracy to Launder Monetary Instruments; and (4) Possession of a Firearm During a Drug Trafficking Crime.  He is awaiting sentencing.

Jennifer Nunez (26) pleaded guilty on March 24, 2015, to: (1) Conspiracy to Distribute, and Possess with Intent to Distribute, a Controlled Substance; (2) Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Distribute; (3) Distribution of a Controlled Substance; and (4) Possession of a Firearm During a Drug Trafficking Crime.  She is awaiting sentencing.

Johanna Nunez (30) pleaded guilty on March 24, 2015, to: (1) Conspiracy to Distribute, and Possess with Intent to Distribute, a Controlled Substance; and (2) four counts of Distribution of a Controlled Substance.  On June 23, 2015, she was sentenced to 51 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.

Raul Hernandez (29) pleaded guilty on March 17, 2015, to: (1) Conspiracy to Distribute, and Possess with Intent to Distribute, a Controlled Substance and (2) Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Distribute.  On June 23, 2015, he was sentenced to 48 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.

An additional defendant, Edward Anthony Hiciano Beltre, is a fugitive.

A source of supply for the organization, Manuel Tirado, pleaded guilty to participating in a drug conspiracy and failure to appear on August 23, 2016. On January 3, 2017, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.

In addition to these defendants, several additional individuals who obtained oxycodone from this organization and resold it to customers have pleaded guilty to federal drug conspiracy charges.   Ryan Demers, William Alba, Bonnie Labrie, Krystal Mailhot, and Yonajaira Galarza Ramos have all entered guilty pleas in federal court.

Demers was sentenced on September 22, 2015, to 57 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.  That sentence was affirmed on appeal by the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

Labrie was sentenced on March 11, 2016, to 72 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.

Alba was sentenced on June 17, 2016, to 72 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.

Mailhot and Ramos are awaiting sentencing. 

“The DEA is committed to investigating and bringing to justice those who illicitly distribute oxycodone,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Ferguson.   “Opiate abuse is a major problem in New Hampshire and throughout New England.  The diversion of prescription pain killers, in this case oxycodone, contributes to the widespread abuse of opiates, is the gateway to heroin and fentanyl addiction, and is devastating our communities.  This investigation demonstrates the strength of collaborative law enforcement efforts in the Granite State and our strong partnership with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to aggressively pursue any group or individual that traffics these drugs.”

U.S. Attorney Rice stated, “Many individuals begin their journey to addiction through oxycodone use.  While these pills have a legitimate medical use, the illicit distribution of these potentially addictive drugs has been a significant factor in the development of the opioid crisis that is affecting New Hampshire.  The U.S. Attorney’s office will continue to work with the law enforcement community to stop the flow of opiates and opioids onto the streets of New Hampshire.  We also will aggressively prosecute individuals who possess or use firearms while trafficking in drugs.”

This investigation was the product of an investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF).  The OCDETF program is a federal multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional task force that supplies supplemental federal funding to federal and state agencies involved in the identification, investigation, and prosecution of major drug trafficking organizations.  This particular investigation involved cooperative efforts of federal and local law enforcement entities, including the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Manchester Police Department, the New Hampshire State Police, the Massachusetts State Police, and the Hillsborough County Attorney’s Office.


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