CONCORD, N.H. — A Dominican man is facing deportation back to the Caribbean country after he was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison for his involvement in a fentanyl distribution ring in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

Juan Jose Gonzalez Ramirez, also known as Lucas Rios, 42, was sentenced on Monday to 144 months in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute fentanyl in a seven-defendant drug trafficking case, said United States Attorney Scott W. Murray. 

Between January of 2018 and January of 2019, Ramirez conspired with other persons to distribute fentanyl in the Manchester area and to collect the proceeds of fentanyl sales. The proceeds were delivered to Ramirez, who was based in Lawrence, Massachusetts, according to court papers. 

During that period, investigators made multiple controlled buys and seizures of fentanyl from Ramirez and his co-conspirators in the Manchester area, authorities said. 

Although he sometimes traveled to New Hampshire, Ramirez typically remained in Massachusetts, took orders for drugs from his customers by telephone, and directed co-conspirators to meet his customers in New Hampshire, deliver fentanyl, and collect the proceeds, according to court papers. 

Ramirez previously pleaded guilty on Sept. 16, 2019. After serving his sentence, he faces likely deportation to the Dominican Republic, Murray said. 

His co-defendants, Israel Perez, Abelino Morales-Padilla, Jose Hiram Martinez Rolon, Karina Reyes, Samuel Ramos, and Billy Damuel Maldonado Cancel, previously pleaded guilty to fentanyl trafficking charges in the same case. Perez was sentenced to 168 months, Morales-Padilla was sentenced to 42 months, Rolon was sentenced to 30 months, Ramos was sentenced to 22 months and Cancel was sentenced to 33 months. Reyes received a time-served sentence, according to Murray. 

“Distributing fentanyl in New Hampshire carries serious unpleasant consequences for those responsible” Murray said.

“This 144-month sentence puts interstate drug dealers on notice that their illegal activities will lead to federal prison. In order to stop the deadly flow of fentanyl into our cities and towns, federal, state and local law enforcement officers are working every day to disrupt criminal conspiracies such as this one. Traffickers should expect that they will be brought to justice," he said. 

Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter @EagleTribJill. 

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