N.H. man indicted by federal grand jury

Former Hudson resident receives suspended sentence for assault; now facing drug trafficking charges

Staff photo by Dean Shalhoup Joshua Smith, right,and his lawyer, Attorney Michael Zaino, listen to proceedings in his recent plea and sentencing hearing. Less than a week after the hearing, Smith is now underfederal indictment on allegations he took part in a major drug distribution operation.

CONCORD – On the same day one-time Hudson resident Joshua Smith was sentenced last week to only suspended jail and prison time – and had his sentencing order sealed by the judge – he was in the process of being indicted by a federal grand jury for his alleged role in a major fentanyl trafficking conspiracy.

It’s the second time Smith, 33, most recently of Plaistow, has been indicted by federal authorities. In April, he was one of 32 people indicted on charges of “conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances,” officials announced at the time.

After further investigation, officials sought, and the grand jury granted, the recent superseding indictments against Smith and several other alleged conspirators, according to U.S. Attorney Scott W. Murray.

Smith, along with Lawrence, Massachusetts residents Sergio Martinez, 28, Jesus Rivera, 20, and Julio Saldana, 18, are charged with “possessing firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.”

Another indictment handed up against Martinez levels the most serious of the charges – “aiding and abetting a distribution of fentanyl that resulted in death,” according to Murray.

The remaining superseding indictments charge Martinez, his brother, Raulin Martinez, 36, and Luz Perez-Demartinez, 25, both of Lawrence, with money laundering, while two other Lawrence residents, Luz DeJesus, 33, and Henry Marte, 21, were charged with “participating in a conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl,” Murray said.

Smith, meanwhile, entered guilty pleas last week in Hillsborough County Superior Court-South to five charges – one count each of armed robbery, a Class A felony, and felon in possession of a deadly weapon, Class B felonies; two counts of criminal threatening, Class B felonies; and one count of simple assault, a Class A misdemeanor.

Judge Charles Temple sentenced Smith to a term of five to 10 years in State Prison, all suspended for two years, on the armed robbery charge; and three and a half to seven years in prison, all suspended for two years, on each of the two criminal threatening charges and the felon in possession charge.

He was sentenced to 12 months in Valley Street jail, all suspended for three years, on the simple assault charge.

The charges stem from a series of events the night of Feb. 11, 2017, when Smith attacked two men and threatened them with a knife near the Dollar Tree store at 300 Main St.

Police said at the time he then drove to a car wash on Daniel Webster Highway, where he brandished a knife and “walked aggressively toward” a man, but stopped before reaching him, police said.

The prosecutor, Assistant County Attorney Cassie Devine, said at the hearing only that Smith has “a significant (criminal) record,” which includes time served for a 2013 armed robbery conviction in the Nashua court.

She said she spoke with the three people Smith threatened or attacked during the February 2017 rampage, and that all “are in agreement” with the terms of the plea deal.

Dean Shalhoup can be reached at 594-1256, dshalhoup@nashuatelegraph.com or @Telegraph_DeanS.