Three men made court appearances Friday in connection with alleged cocaine dealing involving a Methuen residence.
Forty-three-year-old Leonardo Lara and 41-year-old Leandro Martinez, both of Lawrence, and 42-year-old Merced Navarro-Morfin of Lunenberg were indicted by a federal grand jury on conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances. They were charged last Thursday.
Acting U.S. Attorney Joshua S. Levy’s office said in a statement the matter of Lara and Navarro-Morfin allegedly involves five kilograms or more of cocaine.
Court records show approximately $40,000 in suspected drug money were seized from Lara’s vehicle following a traffic stop in April 2022 in Sturbridge. Shortly after Lara was released, Martinez and Navarro-Morfin allegedly drove to a Methuen residence used by Lara, and removed eight kilograms of cocaine. Martinez and Navarro-Morfin also allegedly possessed approximately $196,000 in suspected drug sales money and one additional kilogram of cocaine.
According to court records, Lara has two prior federal convictions. In 2017, Lara was convicted of money laundering and theft of public money for which he was sentenced to 15 months in prison. Navarro-Morfin was also convicted in federal court in Boston in 2015 of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of marijuana and cocaine, for which he was sentenced to more than eight years in prison. In 2004, Lara was convicted in state court of one count of bank robbery by force or violence for which he was sentenced to two years’ probation.