Lawrence man sent to federal prison in fentanyl case

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May 18—CONCORD, N.H. — A Lawrence man was sentenced to 30 months in prison for fentanyl distribution on Tuesday, authorities said.

Joel Espinosa, 22, pleaded guilty to the charge on Dec. 2, 2020, according to a statement released by the Department of Justice.

According to court documents and statements made in court, a cooperating individual and an undercover agent purchased nearly 80 grams of fentanyl from Espinosa and another man during two separate transactions in 2019. One transaction occurred in Manchester and the other took place in Methuen.

"Fentanyl traffickers seek to profit from selling a deadly substance in our communities," said Acting U.S. Attorney John Farley.

"Each day, we are working closely with our law enforcement partners to identify and prosecute the dealers who sell this dangerous drug in the Granite State. As this defendant has learned, drug dealers who come to New Hampshire to sell fentanyl will find themselves in federal prison," Farley said.

"Fentanyl is causing great damage to our communities," said Special Agent in Charge Brian D. Boyle of the Drug Enforcement Administration, in the statement.

The "DEA will continue to use every resource available to identify traffickers, like Mr. Espinosa, who distribute this poison to the citizens of New Hampshire. Today's sentence not only holds Mr. Espinosa accountable for his crimes but serves as a warning to those who are fueling the opioid epidemic."

This matter was investigated by the DEA with assistance from the Massachusetts State Police, New Hampshire State Police and Manchester Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John S. Davis.