PORTLAND, Maine — A Lawrence, Mass., man who supervised a family drug trafficking operation in Maine and New Hampshire was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court to 12 years in federal prison.
Efrain “Cheech” Urena, 23, also was sentenced to five years of supervised release after he completes his prison term, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Urena pleaded guilty Oct. 9 to one count of conspiracy to distribute, and possess with the intent to distribute one kilogram (2.2 pounds) or more of heroin between August 2011 and Feb. 12, 2013.
He had been held without bail since his arrest on Valentine’s Day 2013.
“[The] defendant was at the center of the Lawrence aspect of this conspiracy and was intimately involved in all aspects of the supply side of this conspiracy — taking the orders, obtaining the heroin to fulfill the orders, coordinating the meetings between his runners and [a co-defendant’s] runners where the heroin would be distributed, and coordinating payments for the heroin,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Dan Perry, who prosecuted the case, said in his sentencing memorandum.
Urena was one of 14 people indicted in the conspiracy, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. About half of them have been sentenced.
This case was the result of a joint investigation conducted by: the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency; New Hampshire and Maine State Police; the York County Sheriff’s Office; the Rochester, N.H., Police Department; and the ongoing effort of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces, a partnership between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Tuesday in a press release.
Urena faced between 10 years and life in prison and a fine of up to $10 million.
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly referred stated that Assistant U.S. Attorney Joel Case prosecuted the case.