Former Methuen Man Admits Heroin Trafficking on Eve of Trial

Baggies of heroin, evidence in an unrelated trial

A former Methuen man pleaded guilty Wednesday to federal drug conspiracy and firearms charges just before his trial was scheduled to begin in Concord, N.H.

Juan Alexis Diaz Pena, 26, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and to possess, with the intent to distribute, quantities of heroin, fentanyl and oxycodone and unlawful possession of a firearm in furtherance of the drug trafficking conspiracy, according to U. S. Attorney Emily Gray Rice. Between spring, 2014 and January, 2016, Pena and his co-defendant, Martin Gonzalez Diaz, 34, also formerly of Methuen, conspired to distribute heroin, fentanyl and oxycodone in the Lawrence area to individuals in Massachusetts, who then sold the drugs to New Hampshire-based customers for redistribution in Rochester, N. H.

“As part of the investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration agents searched an apartment connected to Pena and located quantities of cocaine and heroin, as well as items associated with drug trafficking. A loaded semi-automatic handgun was recovered under a mattress in a bedroom in close proximity to where the drugs were located,” a statement from Gray Rice’s office reads.

Pena is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 17. Gonzalez Diaz pleaded guilty to the drug conspiracy charge on Aug. 17 and is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 21.

Haverhill police worked with the Portsmouth and Rochester, N.H., police departments, and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration in the investigation of this case.

“The United States Attorney’s Office is committed to working with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners to address the significant presence of heroin and fentanyl in New Hampshire by continuing to target drug trafficking organizations who are responsible for bringing those drugs into our state.” Gray Rice said.


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