Federal Grand Jury Indicts Haverhill Man of Alleged Fentanyl Sale That Led to Overdose Death

U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling. (Courtesy photograph.)

A 27-year-old Haverhill man was indicted yesterday by a federal grand jury in Boston with distributing fentanyl resulting in a death.

Bernardito Carvajal, 27, a Dominican national, was indicted on one count of distribution of fentanyl and cocaine resulting in death and one count of distribution of fentanyl. Last July 31, Carvajal was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with one count of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl. He has been in custody since.

The U.S. Attorney’s office says around June 12, 2018, Carvajal sold fentanyl and cocaine in Lawrence to a 26-year-old victim, who died of an overdose after using the drugs. Carvajal continued to sell fentanyl after the fatal overdose, including another sale last July 31.

“The opioid epidemic has inflicted an unprecedented toll of addiction, suffering and death on our communities,” said U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling. “And no one knows this better than the dealers victimizing those struggling with addiction. We will aggressively prosecute every single case where we can link a drug dealer to an overdose death.”

The case arose from “Devil’s Highway,” a 10-week coordinated enforcement operation in the Merrimack Valley. The enforcement operation was a coordinated effort by federal, state and local partners to focus on drug distribution activity in the City of Lawrence and between Lawrence and New Hampshire.

DEA Special Agent in Charge Brian D. Boyle notes, “The state of Massachusetts is faced with a fentanyl crisis unlike ever before…Those responsible for distributing this lethal drug and for contributing to loss of life for those battling this addiction need to be held responsible for their actions.”

The charge of distributing fentanyl resulting in death provides for a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years and up to life in prison, a minimum of five years of supervised release and a fine of up to $10 million. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

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