October 27, 2015
Contact: SA Timothy Desmond
Phone Number: (617) 557-2100
Natick Man Pleads Guilty To Federal Heroin And Fentanyl Charges
BOSTON - A Natick man pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Boston in connection with selling heroin and white heroin - heroin laced with fentanyl and/or straight fentanyl - to addicts, one of whom ultimately died after overdosing.
Nicholas Ferraro, 25, of Natick, pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute fentanyl and 100 grams or more of heroin, one count of distribution of fentanyl and two counts of distribution of heroin. U.S. District Court Judge William G. Young scheduled sentencing for Jan. 21, 2016 at 2:00 p.m.
Beginning in January 2013 and continuing until March 2014, Ferraro conspired with others to distribute both heroin and fentanyl to addicts in the Framingham and Natick areas. Ferraro pleaded guilty to distributing 400 to 600 grams of heroin and 10 to 15 grams of fentanyl. In addition, Ferraro distributed fentanyl to an individual on Feb. 8, 2014, who later died of an overdose after injecting himself with the fentanyl. Ferraro also sold heroin on two occasions in March 2014 to an undercover officer.
This case was brought as part of the federal response to the growing opioid abuse epidemic in Massachusetts and other New England states. A recent surge in overdose deaths has been attributed in part to the addition of fentanyl to heroin, creating a toxic mixture substantially more potent, and more dangerous, than heroin alone.
The charge of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute fentanyl and 100 grams or more of heroin provides for a sentence of no greater than 40 years in prison, a mandatory minimum of four years and up to a lifetime supervised release and a fine of $5 million. The charges of distribution of fentanyl and heroin provide for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, a minimum of three years and up to a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of $1 million. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. Sentences are imposed based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Michael J. Ferguson Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England and United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Colonel Richard D. McKeon, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Natick Police Chief James Hicks; and Framingham Police Chief Kenneth Ferguson made the announcement.