CONCORD, N.H. — Geudin Nivar Baez, also known as Jhonatan Mateo, 31, of Lawrence, was sentenced Wednesday to nearly four years in federal prison for participating in a conspiracy to distribute fentanyl, according to a statement from U.S. Attorney Scott W. Murray.
"Interstate fentanyl trafficking is damaging communities in New Hampshire every day," Murray said. "In order to protect the health and safety of our citizens, we will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to identify, prosecute, and incarcerate those who are selling illegal drugs in the Granite State. This prison sentence demonstrates the severe consequences for drug dealers who choose to introduce lethal fentanyl into our state."
According to court documents and statements made in court, in May of 2018, Nivar Baez’s co-defendant Santo Benito Lara sold fentanyl to a customer in Salem, New Hampshire.
Murray noted that after the DEA received information about the conspiracy to sell fentanyl, it began an investigation into Lara’s activities. Between May and September of 2018, Nivar Baez and Lara sold fentanyl in Lawrence to a cooperating individual on multiple occasions, Murray said.
Lara was found guilty by a jury on May 10, and is awaiting sentencing, according to Murray's statement. Nivar Baez previously pleaded guilty on May 15, Murray said.
Nivar Baez faces possible removal to the Dominican Republic after the completion of his prison sentence, Murray said.
"Opioid abuse is at epidemic levels in New Hampshire and across New England,” said Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Brian D. Boyle. "DEA is committed to aggressively pursue drug trafficking organizations and individuals like Mr. Nivar Baez, who are coming from out of state to distribute fentanyl, in order to profit and destroy people’s lives.
"This investigation demonstrates the strength of collaborative local, state and federal law enforcement efforts in New Hampshire," Boyle added.
This matter was investigated by the DEA, with assistance from the New Hampshire State Police and the Essex County Sheriff’s Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anna Dronzek and Jarad Hodes.