Haverhill Fentanyl Trafficker Gets Four Years in Prison

(File photograph.)

A Haverhill man has been sentenced to three-and-a-half to four years in prison for his role in an alleged fentanyl trafficking ring.

Francis Leroy Fernandez, 34, pleaded guilty to four charges of fentanyl trafficking and one count of conspiracy in connection with the ring that was investigated starting in January by Attorney General Maura Healey’s office.

Hector Ocasio, 28, of Lawrence faces the same charges. Both men were arrested in Haverhill in February in a joint operation involving Healey’s office, the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Haverhill Police Department.

Ocasio allegedly supplied Fernandez with the drugs. The pair was arrested after they were observed participating in multiple Haverhill sales that totaled approximately 150 grams of the drug.

“The opioid epidemic is killing five people a day in Massachusetts and these individuals were allegedly bringing the lethal opioid fentanyl onto the streets of Haverhill,” Healey said. “My office is committed to tackling this epidemic on all fronts including working with our partners in law enforcement to disrupt these dangerous drug trafficking networks. This case is another example of our work with local and state law enforcement to keep fentanyl out of our communities.”

Fernandez and Ocasio will be arraigned in Essex Superior Court at a later date.