Haverhill ‘Cooperating Witness’ Seals Heroin Dealer’s Fate

Haverhill Police Chief Alan R. DeNaro.

A Lawrence man was sentenced recently to two years in federal prison for trafficking heroin in Haverhill.

Jonathan Santiago, 31, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Patti B. Saris to two years in prison and three years of supervised release. In December, 2015, Santiago pleaded guilty to possessing with intent to distribute and distributing heroin, according to a statement from the office of U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz, Boston.

“On three occasions, between Nov. 19 and Dec. 1, 2014, Santiago sold drugs to a cooperating witness in Haverhill. Santiago sold a combined 18.3 grams of heroin in the first and second sales. On the third occasion, he sold 17.8 grams of fentanyl. Fentanyl is similar to heroin and morphine, but 30 to 50 times more powerful. When taken in the same dosage as heroin, fentanyl can cause overdose or death,” a spokesperson said.

The case is part of Operation Zero Tolerance, a joint federal and state investigation of gang-related criminal activity in and around Haverhill focusing particularly on opiate-related drug overdoses. As part of the investigation, law enforcement identified Santiago as an associate of Haverhill gang members. As WHAV earlier reported, Santiago was taken into custody by Haverhill police Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015 on a federal warrant at police headquarters, 40 Bailey Boulevard.

“This case was prosecuted as part of the federal response to New England’s opioid crisis,” the spokesperson added. “In 2014, the year in which Santiago was dealing heroin and fentanyl, more than 1,000 people in Massachusetts died of opiate overdoses.  In fact, since 2005, more Massachusetts residents have been killed by opiate-related overdoses than in car accidents.”

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; FBI Special Agent Harold H. Shaw, Boston Field Division; and Haverhill Police Chief Alan R. DeNaro, made the announcement.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy E. Moran of Ortiz’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit.

One thought on “Haverhill ‘Cooperating Witness’ Seals Heroin Dealer’s Fate

  1. Finally, a U.S. District Court Chief Judge, Patti B. Saris, has demonstrated that judges have some common sense and imposed a sentence on this piece of scum, Jonathan Santiago. It’s about time that action is taken against these awful people.

    We need more judges like Ms. Saris. I just wish the sentence could be longer to keep this guy off the streets.