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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
November 6, 2003

Springfield Men Plead Guilty To Distributing Crack Cocaine

NOV 6--Springfield, MA….Two Springfield men were convicted yesterday in federal court of distributing crack cocaine, cocaine and heroin.

Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in New England; and United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan announced that Roberto ECHEVERRIA, JR., age 32, of Springfield and Eduardo GONZALEZ, age 31, of Holyoke, Massachusetts, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Michael A. Ponsor to one count of conspiring to distribute crack cocaine, cocaine and heroin.

At the plea hearing, the prosecutor told the Court that, had the case proceeded to trial, the Government's evidence would have proven that between October of 2002 and February 11, 2003 ECHEVERRIA and GONZALEZ, together with six co-defendants distributed at least one kilogram of cocaine per week in Springfield and Holyoke. During the execution of search warrants of February 11, 2003, DEA agents seized two kilograms of cocaine, 200 grams of crack cocaine, eight grams of heroin and over $70,000 in cash.

The indictment was the result of a yearlong investigation of crack cocaine and cocaine trafficking in Springfield and Holyoke, which involved four months of Court, authorized electronic surveillance by DEA's Springfield Task Force.

Judge Ponsor scheduled sentencing for ECHEVERRIA of February 17, 2004 and for GONZALEZ on February 23, 2004. GONZALEZ faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life, to be followed by 5 years of supervised release, and a $1 million fine. ECHEVERRIA faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison and a maximum of life, to be followed by 5 years of supervised release, and a $1 million fine.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's Springfield Gang Task Force.

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