A previously deported illegal alien living in Lawrence, Mass. has been arrested after police conducted a drug bust which found that Santo Ramon Gonzalez Nival, age 40, had been running a drug ring responsible for selling fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine throughout the Bay State. (via Eagle Tribune)
Santo Ramon Gonzalez Nival, a 40-year-old Dominican national, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Boston to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin, cocaine and fentanyl, and one count of illegal reentry of a deported alien, according to a statement released by U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling.
Nival has been detained since his arrest in May 2017. At the time of his arrest, he was illegally in the United States after being most recently deported May 19, 2009, according to Lelling.
In May 2017, Nival was charged after "a year-long investigation aimed at attacking the fentanyl and heroin crisis in Lawrence and surrounding areas," according to the statement.
The people of Lawrence has been hit heavily with tragedies by the opioid epidemic plaguing New England. Since 2013, 140 individuals have died from drug overdoses. That number is not including 2018. The crisis is so bad, that U.S. Senate Republican candidate State Rep. Geoff Diehl has made it a campaign promise to address the problem. Just last week at an event in the former mill town, Diehl introduced his plan to solve the issue.
"We can fight this epidemic and win," Diehl said in a statement. "As your next United States senator, I will put in the long hours working with the good people of Lawrence and the other communities ravaged by this epidemic. My focus will be to win this life and death battle."
As noted by Mass Live, "Diehl said his plan focuses on four main areas: increasing access to addiction treatment across Massachusetts; supporting research for alternative pain management practices; encouraging responsible prescriber practices and prescription management; and stopping the flow of illegal opiates across the United States' and Massachusetts' borders."
Nival will be sentenced in September.