Boston, Massachusetts - A Lawrence man was sentenced today in federal court in Boston for his role in a widespread fentanyl trafficking organization.

Bronin Martin Gonzalez Arias, a/k/a Rafael Omar Arias-Rodriguez, 37, was leniently sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Douglas Woodlock to 18 months in prison and three years of supervised release. The government asked for a sentence of 57 months in prison. Gonzalez Arias will be subject to deportation proceedings. In April 2018, Gonzalez Arias pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin, cocaine, and fentanyl.

On May 30, 2017, more than 200 federal, state and local law enforcement officers executed a federal drug sweep to dismantle a Lawrence-based drug trafficking organization allegedly run by Juan Anibal Patrone. Gonzalez Arias was arrested and charged along with Patrone and approximately 30 co-conspirators.  

Gonzalez Arias was a redistributor for Patrone’s organization. Throughout his time on the street, Gonzalez Arias distributed between 160-280 grams of fentanyl.

When first charged, Gonzalez Arias falsely identified himself as Rafael Omar Arias-Rodriquez and claimed to be a United States citizen in his detention hearing before the Court; in fact, he is Dominican, and in the country illegally.

Patrone pleaded not guilty and is scheduled to stand trial on Oct. 29, 2018.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Division; Peter C. Fitzhugh, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; Essex County District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett; Colonel Kerry A. Gilpin, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; and Lawrence Police Chief James Fitzpatrick made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Susan Winkler of Lelling’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit is prosecuting the cases.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The remaining defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.