Haverhill Man, Facing 15-Year Prison Term, Pleads Guilty to Fentanyl Trafficking

(File photograph.)

Joshua Smith pleaded guilty in federal court and will be sentenced in March. (File photograph)

A 31-year-old Haverhill man is facing a minimum 15-year prison sentence after pleading guilty in federal court to fentanyl trafficking and firearms charges.

Joshua Smith entered his plea on charges that he conspired to distribute over 400 grams of fentanyl throughout New England, including in New Hampshire, U.S. Attorney Scott W. Murray said. Working alongside drug ring boss Sergio Martinez, Smith was given one 200-gram bag of fentanyl he was expected to sell for a $6,000 profit.

“It is imperative that we dismantle the criminal organizations that profit from the sale of illegal substances,” Murray said in a statement.

Smith, arrested in October 2017 while on the job selling drugs, is one of more than 30 people charged in the conspiracy orchestrated by Martinez. At the time of his arrest, Smith told investigators he carried a firearm to avoid being robbed by drug customers.

The city man faces a mandatory 15 years in prison, with the possibility of life behind bars, when he is sentenced in March. He also must pay a fine of up to $10 million and serve a term of supervised release, Murray’s office said.