Leader Of Manhattan Drug Trafficking Organization Sentenced To 15 Years In Prison

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fentanyl, heroin drugs

Audrey Strauss, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that PEDRO VICIOSO DE LIMA, a/k/a “Pep,” a/k/a “Pepo,” was sentenced today in Manhattan federal court to 180 months in prison for leading a drug trafficking organization (the “DTO”) that was responsible for dealing fentanyl-laced heroin that has been tied to multiple suspected fatal and nonfatal overdoses.  VICIOSO DE LIMA previously pled guilty to participating in a conspiracy to distribute heroin, and was sentenced today before U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon.

U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said: “As he previously admitted, Pedro Vicioso De Lima led a Washington Heights drug distribution network that sold fentanyl-laced heroin even after he was aware that customers were overdosing on it.  Vicioso De Lima’s drug peddling and his callous disregard for its consequences have resulted in today’s prison sentence.”

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According to the allegations in the Indictment and other filings and statements made in Court:

VICIOSO DE LIMA was the leader of a drug trafficking organization (the “DTO”) that operated in New York, New York, and controlled heroin sales from a building at 501 West 167th Street (the “DTO’s Building”) and the immediately surrounding vicinity (the “DTO’s Drug Territory”).  From July 2016 to October 2018, the DTO is estimated to have distributed more than 85 kilograms of heroin, much of it laced with fentanyl.  VICIOSO DE LIMA controlled and oversaw the operations of the DTO, and together with his trusted second-in-command, Victor Hidalgo, managed stash houses in the DTO’s Drug Territory where the DTO stored its wares.  The defendant directed other members of the DTO on matters ranging from how to handle drugs being sold by the DTO, to managing lookouts who worked for the DTO and surveilled for law enforcement, to handling complaints by customers about the quality of drugs being sold by the DTO. 

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No later than May 2018, VICIOSO DE LIMA was told by Hidalgo that the mixture of heroin being sold by the DTO was causing people to “drop[]” – or overdose – outside the DTO’s Building.  Nevertheless, VICIOSO DE LIMA persisted in leading the DTO and selling its potentially fatal narcotics through his arrest in this case in November 2018.

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VICIOSO DE LIMA, 52, of Bergenfield, New Jersey, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute one kilogram and more of heroin from July 2016 to October 2018.  In addition to the prison term, VICIOSO DE LIMA was sentenced to 10 years of supervised release.

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Hidalgo was previously sentenced to 120 months in prison.

Ms. Strauss praised the outstanding investigative work of Homeland Security Investigations, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the New York City Police Department.

The prosecution is being handled by the Office’s Narcotics Unit.  Assistant United States Attorneys Jessica Greenwood, Aline R. Flodr, and Dominic Gentile are in charge of the prosecution. 

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