Federal Judge Sentences Former Haverhill Man to 10 Years in Prison for Fentanyl Dealing

John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse. (Beyond My Ken, Creative Commons.))

A 30-year-old former Haverhill man was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison after being convicted of fentanyl distribution charges, but cleared of causing the death of a 26-year-old man.

Bernardito Carvajal, a Dominican national, was sentenced by U.S. Senior District Court Judge George A. O’Toole Jr. Besides prison, he was sentenced to three years of supervised release. Last Nov. 22, Carvajal was convicted by a federal jury of two counts of distribution of fentanyl. He was acquitted of distribution of fentanyl and cocaine resulting in death.

He was indicted in January 2020 and has been in custody since his arrest in July 2019.

“This case is a painful lesson in the devastating and irreversible toll opioids and other substances take on lives and communities. This defendant is responsible for distributing a lethal drug that took a 26-year-old man’s life and yesterday’s sentence reflects that,” said U.S. Attorney Rachael S. Rollins. “The young man who died here was a beloved son, grandson, brother, stepson and so much more. Opioids are the leading cause of drug overdose deaths, which have recently reached a record high. Every one of these deaths represents a person, not a mere statistic. In virtually every community across the nation, drug traffickers and local dealers are preying on vulnerable individuals and profiting off of pain, addiction, and trauma. In Massachusetts, law enforcement partners are working collaboratively to bring those who peddle deadly narcotics to justice.”

“Fentanyl is causing deaths in record numbers and DEA’s top priority is to aggressively pursue anyone who distributes this poison,” said Brian D. Boyle, special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Field Division. “Today’s sentence not only holds Mr. Carvajal accountable for his crimes but serves as a warning to others who are fueling the opioid epidemic.”

In June 2019, Carvajal sold drugs on 11 separate occasions to a 26-year-old victim who, after being sold drugs from Carvajal, died of an overdose the following day. Carvajal continued to sell fentanyl after this fatal overdose, including another sale six weeks later on July 31, 2019, to an undercover officer. Carvajal was subsequently arrested following that drug deal. At trial, the jury convicted Carvajal of the underlying fentanyl distribution counts.

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