Former Methuen Resident Faces 15 Years in Prison for Fentanyl Dealing and Gun Charges

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A former Methuen resident pleaded guilty late last week in federal court in Boston to fentanyl trafficking, gun and ammunition charges and related crimes.

Thirty-three-year-old Joel Cortorreal, who also goes by the name Angel Javier Morell-Oneill, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Leo T. Sorokin to one count of possession with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl, one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, one count of unlawful reentry of a deported alien and one count of being an alien in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

According to court records, an investigation into Cortorreal began in June 2018 and resulted in a traffic stop on Pleasant Valley Street in Methuen Oct. 22 of that year. During the stop, officers seized two kilos of fentanyl from the front passenger seat of the vehicle Cortorreal was driving.

During a search at Cortorreal’s home, police also seized approximately 20 kilos of heroin, more than eight kilos of fentanyl, drug distribution paraphernalia and a loaded firearm.

Cortorreal faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years and up to life in prison, a mandatory minimum of five years and up to a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of up to $10 million. Sorokin scheduled sentencing for Sept. 8.

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