Local Crime, Police/Fire

Saugus man sentenced to prison for heroin trafficking scheme

BOSTON — A Saugus man was sentenced to four years in prison on Wednesday in federal court for his role in a heroin trafficking scheme operating in and around Lawrence.

Edwin Soto, 46, was also sentenced to six years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $99,200 in forfeiture, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office

In October 2017, Soto pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of a controlled substance — heroin and fentanyl, prosecutors said.

From about April 2015 to March 2016, authorities investigated the drug distribution activities of Ramon Baez and his associates in and around the city of Lawrence.

Baez obtained kilograms of heroin and cocaine from local suppliers and suppliers based in Mexico. His co-conspirator, Jose A. Rosario, supplied Baez with heroin, which Baez then repackaged for distribution, prosecutors said.

Soto and co-defendant Waner Manuel Lara purchased heroin and fentanyl from Baez. On Dec. 29, 2015, law enforcement officers seized $99,200 in drug proceeds from Soto, intended for Baez. On March 19, 2016, agents seized from Lara 140 grams of heroin and fentanyl supplied to him by Baez, prosecutors said.

Baez was sentenced in June 2017 to 121 months in prison, and Rosario was sentenced in September 2017 to 22 months in prison. Lara pleaded guilty in October 2017 and is awaiting a sentencing date.

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