Holyoke man arrested on drug trafficking charges


Staff Writer
Published: 4/9/2021 5:30:28 PM

HOLYOKE — A city man has been charged with federal drug charges over allegations that he engaged in a conspiracy to distribute fentanyl.

Acting U.S. Attorney Nathaniel Mendell’s office announced Friday that 44-year-old Josue Rivera Rodriguez has been indicted on one count of conspiracy to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl; two counts of distribution of 40 grams or more of fentanyl; and one count of distribution of 400 grams or more of fentanyl.

“At the time of his arrest on April 8, 2021, approximately 300 grams of suspected fentanyl; an AR-15 assault rifle; five semi-automatic pistols, including handguns capable of carrying large-caliber ammunition and fitted with a laser sight; a bullet-proof vest; a police hat with insignia; packaging materials; cellphones; a money counter; and $1,900 cash was seized from his residence,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts said in a statement. 

Federal prosecutors allege that Rodriguez is associated with the criminal organization Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación and said agents recorded a meeting where Rodriguez delivered $35,000 to a cooperating witness using a code designed to ensure that the money was delivered to the cartel. They allege that he was later recorded distributing more than 750 grams of fentanyl to cooperating witnesses on three separate occasions in 2020 and 2021. 

The operation was conducted by a multi-agency task force through the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), a partnership between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. 

Dusty Christensen can be reached at dchristensen@gazettenet.com.

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