Taveras will be sentenced next week

NASHUA – When a Superior Court jury convicted Lawrence, Massachusetts resident Wilmy Taveras on two felony drug charges in September, the man was allowed to remain free on bail pending sentencing.

But the sentencing date – Nov. 15 – came and went, and “the state has been waiting to sentence him ever since,” Assistant County Attorney Cassie Devine told Judge Charles Temple this week.

Taveras “was a no-show for his sentencing hearing,” Devine added. “The state would like to sentence him today. It’s time for this case to be closed.”

But after hearing from Taveras’s lawyer, Marc Gouthro, Temple opted to grant Taveras’s request to postpone sentencing “for just a few days,” Gouthro said, to allow his client to contact people he’d like to be present for his hearing.

Temple scheduled the hearing for 10 a.m. Tuesday. In doing so, he granted Devine’s request to hold Taveras “on no bail or very high bail,” setting it at $100,000 cash.

The charges on which Taveras went to trial and was convicted – one count each of possesion of a controlled drug with intent to distribute and conspiracy to commit the sale of a controlled drug – stem from his Jan. 28, 2016 arrest in Milford.

Authorities took Taveras and two other men into custody when they arrived in Milford to conduct what police described as a drug deal, purportedly involving 100 grams of fentanyl.

In asking Temple to continue the hearing, Gouthro said his client had just been moved to Valley Street jail after a stint in a Massachusetts prison.

Gouthro also asked to keep in place the original $5,000 bail that Taveras was able to post, noting that he has a place to live in Lawrence with family.

In handing down his order, Temple told Taveras, “I just can’t let you go under this bail order,” referring to the $5,000 bail.

Devine, who also prosecuted Taveras at trial, told the jury in her opening statement that Taveras and the two other men came to Milford to conduct a pre-arranged sale of “a huge amount of fentanyl.

“He had it in his possession and intended to sell it … he offered to sell it for $3,200,” Devine said, noting that Taveras reportedly “shorted” the buyer about 17 grams.

However, police said, it turned out that the buyer was an undercover informant working for the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department’s Street Crimes Task Force.

Officials said at the time they arrested the men after a comprehensive investigation in which task force members, along with detectives from the Milford, Amherst and Hillsborough police departments, participated.

Dean Shalhoup can be reached at 594-1256, dshalhoup@

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