BOSTON – A Dominican national previously residing in Lawrence was sentenced yesterday for fentanyl possession.
Esteban Nivar Araujo, 39, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Indira Talwani to two years in prison and two years of supervised release. Nivar Araujo may be subject to deportation proceedings upon completion of his sentence. On May 13, 2021, Nivar Araujo pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl.
In July 2019, a search of Nivar Araujo’s residence resulted in the seizure of over 50 grams of a substance containing fentanyl and drug distribution paraphernalia. The fentanyl was packaged in multiple bags and stored alongside hundreds of grams of a substance likely used to dilute the fentanyl for resale.
This case is part of a coordinated enforcement operation in the Merrimack Valley called “Devil’s Highway.” The operation targeted the distribution of opioids, including fentanyl and heroin, and resulted in charges against approximately 40 people for federal drug offenses, with at least a dozen more individuals facing state charges.
Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell and Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Division made the announcement. Assistance was provided by the Massachusetts State Police and the Andover Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles B. Weinograd of Mendell’s Office prosecuted the case.
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