January 22, 2016
Contact: SA Timothy Desmond
Phone Number: (617) 557-2100
Arlington Career Criminal Sentenced For Heroin Distribution
BOSTON - An Arlington man was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Boston for selling heroin mixed with fentanyl which creates a toxic mixture substantially more potent, and more dangerous, than heroin alone.
Michael J. Ferguson Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England and U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz announced that Yrvens Bain, 42, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani to 15 years in prison and three years of supervised release. Bain was convicted by a federal jury in October 2015 of distribution of heroin, possession with the intent to distribute heroin and being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. In February 2014, an investigation of Bain began after it was suspected that he sold the heroin involved in two suspected overdose deaths in Arlington. Federal agents identified Bain as a long-time drug dealer who had been convicted of drug trafficking and firearm offenses on several occasions.
“Heroin laced with fentanyl is literally killing members of our communities,” said Ortiz. “Targeting those who pedal this deadly combination is an essential part of attacking the opioid addiction crisis in Massachusetts and beyond.”
“Opioid abuse is at epidemic levels in Massachusetts and throughout New England,” said Ferguson. “Fentanyl and heroin are causing overdose deaths across the Commonwealth in record numbers, and DEA is committed to bring to justice those that distribute these lethal drugs. This investigation demonstrates the strength of collaborative law enforcement efforts in Massachusetts to aggressively pursue anyone who traffics these drugs.”
Bain was on probation for a state drug dealing and firearm conviction when federal agents recorded him selling heroin mixed with fentanyl to a cooperating witness on Feb. 26, 2014 and March 21, 2014, in Waltham and Malden, respectively. On April 1, 2014, agents arrested Bain as he left his residence on Laurel Street in Malden. They had to take him to a nearby hospital after he swallowed heroin during the arrest. A search warrant subsequently executed at the Laurel Street residence led to the seizure of a HiPoint .45 caliber firearm with an obliterated serial number, over 26 grams of heroin mixed with fentanyl and thousands of dollars, including $100 of money used by a cooperating witness to purchase heroin from Bain in March 2014. Agents also seized drug paraphernalia including plastic baggies, plastic gloves and a digital scale used to weigh and package drugs for street-level sales.
This case was prosecuted as part of the federal response to New England’s opioid crisis. Substantial increases in the purity of heroin in recent years, as well as a reduction in its price, have persuaded many individuals addicted to prescription medication to switch to heroin. Overdoses from heroin have climbed substantially as a result. Between 2000 and 2014, opioid overdose deaths have more than tripled with a spike in recent years in Massachusetts.
This case was investigated by a Task Force comprised of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Field Division; the Massachusetts State Police; the Arlington, Boston, Ipswich, and Somerville Police Departments; and the Essex County Sheriff’s Department. Significant assistance was also provided the Malden Police Department and the Suburban Middlesex County Drug Task Force.