CONCORD, N.H. — A man who bought the deadly drug fentanyl from a supplier in Lawrence, Massachusetts has been sentenced to 13 years and four months in prison after pleading guilty to narcotic and firearm offenses.
Louis Gardner, 41 of Belmont, was convicted in U.S. District Court of participating in a conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl, illegal possession a firearm and possessing a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.
Gardner and another person sold fentanyl and methamphetamine to an undercover buyer who was cooperating with the FBI on two separate occasions, according to U.S. Attorney Scott Murray.
On May 31, 2017, a woman arranged for Gardner and two other men to purchase fentanyl from a supplier in Lawrence, according to court documents. The three men drove together from Belmont to Lawrence.
In Lawrence, they met with their drug supplier, bought a quantity of fentanyl and began to drive back to New Hampshire. On the highway near Derry, they were stopped by the New Hampshire State Police.
Troopers seized a firearm and a package containing approximately 111 grams of fentanyl. As a convicted felon, Gardner could not lawfully possess a firearm.
Gardner pleaded guilty Oct. 30.
“Armed drug traffickers are a menace on our highways,” Murray said. “The transportation of fentanyl into New Hampshire has had a disastrous impact on public health and safety. When drug traffickers are also armed, the danger grows exponentially. I am grateful to our law enforcement partners for stopping this defendant’s criminal conduct and protecting the safety of our community.”
“Those who distribute fentanyl, like Mr. Gardner, are endangering their customers and causing great damage to our community,” said Joseph Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of the FBI's Boston Division. “The FBI will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to detect and disrupt drug traffickers like him who are contributing to the opioid crisis. Dangerous drugs like this need to be taken off our streets and in doing so, we can help keep addiction from spreading."
The case against Gardner was investigated by the FBI, the New Hampshire State Police and the Laconia Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Anna Krasinski was the prosecutor.