CONCORD, N.H. – A Lawrence man was sentenced to eight years in federal prison for drug distribution and possession convictions. 

Walker Manuel Moreta, 32, of Lawrence, was sentenced to 96 months in federal prison for participating in a conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute, fentanyl, U.S. Attorney Scott W. Murray announced. 

Between January and July of 2017, Moreta, with the assistance of others, sold fentanyl to multiple people, including customers from New Hampshire. Moreta and his co-conspirators often operated out of a location on Water Street in Lawrence, according to court papers. 

As part of an investigation of Moreta, a cooperating person bought over 100 grams of fentanyl from Moreta between May and June of 2017. On July 6, 2017, Moreta was arrested and had 19 grams of fentanyl on him, according to court documents. 

Evidence in the case also indicated that the drugs distributed by Moreta resulted in at least one fatal fentanyl overdose in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Moreta previously pleaded guilty on April 1, 2019. He faces likely removal to the Dominican Republic after serving his sentence, according to a sentence released by Murray. 

Two co-conspirators, Miguel Arias-Velasquez and Miguel Vasquez, previously pleaded guilty. Arias-Velasquez was sentenced to serve 48 months in prison. Vasquez is awaiting sentencing, according to court documents. 

“Fentanyl is an incredibly lethal substance that has caused hundreds of deaths in New Hampshire,” Murray said. “We are working every day to identify, prosecute, and incarcerate the interstate fentanyl traffickers who are selling this deadly drug to the citizens of the Granite State. Drug dealers who sell fentanyl in New Hampshire should understand that they will be caught and will spend substantial portions of their lives in federal prison.”


Recommended for you