Mother and daughter Morrisville residents sentenced for distributing fentanyl, heroin and oxycodone; ordered to forfeit house
BURLINGTON, Vt. – DEA New England Division Special Agent in Charge Brian D. Boyle and United States Attorney for the District of Vermont Christina E. Nolan announced that Esperanza Delarosa, 52, and her daughter Susan Mateo, 28, were both sentenced to prison terms for conspiring to distribute heroin, fentanyl and oxycodone.
Today, U.S. District Judge Christina Reiss sentenced Delarosa to a 69-month term of imprisonment, to be followed by a 4-year term of supervised release. On Oct. 4, 2019, Judge Reiss sentenced Mateo to a 6-month term of imprisonment to be followed by a 3-year term of supervised release. The defendant agreed, and the court ordered, that Mateo’s Morrisville house be forfeited to the government, as it was the proceeds of, and directly facilitated, the defendants’ unlawful distribution of controlled substances. In addition, the defendants agreed to forfeit a 2011 Ford Escape Limited, $8,626.26 seized from their bank accounts, and $3,258 of U.S. currency seized from Delarosa’s person.
According to court documents, between October 2017 and Jan. 23, 2018, Delarosa and Mateo conspired to distribute heroin, fentanyl and oxycodone. Utilizing a confidential informant, law enforcement purchased suspected oxycodone and heroin from both defendants. In total, laboratory testing revealed the suspected oxycodone was in fact oxycodone, but the suspected heroin was laced with fentanyl. Law enforcement’s financial investigation revealed that defendant Delarosa utilized a bank account to facilitate her drug trafficking, requiring coconspirators to deposit funds in the bank account directly, rather than providing Delarosa with cash. Law enforcement’s financial investigation also revealed that on Sept. 21, 2017, defendant Mateo paid a $10,000 cash deposit to a foreclosure auctioneer to secure the right to purchase a house located on Randolph Road in Morrisville. Defendant Delarosa subsequently paid an additional $75,000 in cash to conclude the purchase of the house. Both defendants have admitted the $85,000 in cash used to purchase the house was proceeds of drug trafficking activity.
At sentencing, Judge Reiss found that defendant Delarosa acted as an organizer, leader, manager or supervisor of the conspiracy, and that she committed the drug trafficking offense as part of a pattern of criminal conduct engaged in as a livelihood. In explaining the sentence imposed, Judge Reiss observed that defendant Delarosa’s crime was not a crime of impulse, but rather one of significant planning and organization.
“DEA is committed to bring to justice anyone who distributes heroin, fentanyl and oxycodone in the state of Vermont,” said Special Agent in Charge Boyle. “Today’s sentence not only holds Ms. Delarosa and Ms. Mateo accountable for their crimes, but serves as a warning that DEA and its local, state and federal law enforcement partners will do everything in our power to keep these highly addictive drugs off the streets of Vermont.”
United States Attorney Christina E. Nolan commended the efforts of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Morristown Police Department, the Stowe Police Department, the Lamoille County Sherriff’s Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives in the investigation of Delarosa and Mateo.
“This case exemplifies how Vermont law enforcement at the federal, state, local and county level unites to fight drug trafficking, with the goals to save Vermont lives, strengthen communities, and bring consequences to those who sell lethal drugs for profit,” said U.S. Attorney Nolan. “We will be relentless in our collaboration and our pursuit of these goals. Those who would come to Vermont to sell poison should reconsider. Those who do will be targets of rigorous investigations and their conduct will be met with stiff consequences - including jail time and seizure of the ill-gotten assets they acquire with profits earned in the grim business of addiction.”
“Lamoille County is very fortunate to have dedicated local law enforcement officers and deputies working together addressing drug trafficking in our community,” said Lamoille County Sheriff Roger Marcoux. “It is our responsibility to investigate the mercenary individuals bringing in the poison that has killed so many of our family members throughout Vermont. We have been fortunate to have the unwavering support and leadership of U.S. Attorney Christina Nolan. Her staff have been amazing in this case. The Burlington Resident Office of the Drug Enforcement Administration has supported our efforts in the investigation and we appreciate their expertise. A special thank you to the men and women of the Morristown and Stowe Police Departments, as well as my deputies in Lamoille County.”
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