Federal grand jury hands up sweeping indictments in alleged fentanyl trafficking conspiracy

CONCORD – A year-long investigation by federal, state and local authorities in New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts culminated recently in the indictments of 34 suspects on various allegations related to fentanyl trafficking, as well as firearm and money laundering offenses, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for New Hampshire.

The vast majority of those indicted by the federal grand jury are Lawrence, Mass., residents, one of whom, Sergio Martinez, 28, is charged with aiding and abetting distribution of fentanyl that resulted in death, authorities said.

If convicted of distribution of fentanyl resulting in death, Martinez faces a mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life, as well as a fine of up to $10 million.

One New Hampshire resident – Joshua Smith, 29, of Plaistow – was indicted on one count of possessing firearms in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime. Also charged with that offense were Jesus Rivera, 20, Julio Saldana, 18, and Martinez, all of Lawrence.

An indictment is not an indication, or proof of, guilt, but represents the Grand Jury’s determination that enough evidence exists for prosecutors to move the case forward in Superior Court.

Additional 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,” according to U.S. Attorney Scott W. Murray and Brian D. Boyle, special agent in charge of the New England Field Division of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

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