Man Who Worked with Lawrence, Haverhill and Methuen Gang Pleads Guilty to Federal Drug Charges

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

A Chelmsford man pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court in Boston to working with local gangs to sell counterfeit oxycodone and Adderall pills that actually contained fentanyl and methamphetamine.

Officials characterized the operation as “centering around the Gangster Disciples in Lawrence, Haverhill and Methuen.” Twenty-nine-year-old Vando Gvozdarevic, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine and 40 grams or more of fentanyl. U.S. Senior District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodlock scheduled sentencing for Nov. 7.

“He is part of a drug pipeline that profited off of destroying lives, families and communities,” said U.S. Attorney Rachael S. Rollins. She noted the man committed the federal felonies while on probation for drug trafficking and firearm convictions out of Middlesex Superior Court, for which he served a five-year prison sentence. Rollins said, “This was a lost opportunity for Mr. Gvozdarevic. Probation can assist people with employment opportunities and training. I am committed to working with my law enforcement partners to make sure probationers and the community know all of the employment and advancement opportunities individuals have if they come into contact with the criminal legal system. There are viable options.”

Joseph R. Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of the FBI Boston Division, said the drug trafficking conspiracy “posed a significant threat to our communities.”

According to court documents, Gvozdarevic was charged last November along with 12 others. The investigation, which began in August 2020, intercepted communications between Gangster Disciples’ leaders, members and drug suppliers pertaining to their alleged distribution of fentanyl, cocaine, methamphetamine and suboxone in Massachusetts, Maine and southern New Hampshire as well as into the Essex County Jail.

There were 12,556 counterfeit Adderall pills containing methamphetamine and 3,717 counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl. These were taken from Gvozdarevic’s apartment after a federal search warrant was issued. He is the third person to plead guilty in the case.

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