Haverhill Man Receives 15-Year Federal Prison Sentence for Fentanyl Sales, Gun Crime

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A 31-year-old Haverhill man was sentenced Monday to 15 years in federal prison for dealing in the deadly drug fentanyl and having a gun during a drug trafficking crime.

Joshua Smith was hired by an illicit drug organization to sell fentanyl to customers from various New England States, according to New Hampshire U.S. Attorney Scott W. Murray. He was charged with conspiracy to distribute more than 400 grams of fentanyl and possessing a firearm to further drug trafficking. Smith previously pleaded guilty Dec. 18.

“Fentanyl traffickers who carry firearms present an enhanced danger to the public.” Murray said.  “In order to protect the community, we will seek lengthy prison sentences for fentanyl traffickers, particularly those who use guns to further their criminal activities.”

According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, the drug trafficking organization was allegedly led by Sergio Martinez, which provided Smith with at least one 200-gram bag of fentanyl and expected him to sell it and return approximately $6,000. Smith worked for the organization on various days and was arrested Oct. 20, 2017.  “At the time, he possessed a firearm that he admitted to carrying to avoid being robbed by drug customers,” according to Murray’s office.

This investigation was conducted by the federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force with help from the Haverhill and Methuen Police Departments, Essex County District Attorney’s office, New Hampshire and Massachusetts State Police and others.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Georgiana L. Konesky and Seth R. Aframe.

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