Drugs and Crime

Springfield, MA man lead suspect in NEK drug ring bust

An alleged illegal drug ring in Essex and Orleans counties now face federal charges and possibly longterm sentences.

A federal grand jury returned an indictment yesterday charging 10 people with conspiring to distribute fentanyl and cocaine base between February and August 5, 2022. The indictment includes nine additional counts alleging distributions or intended distributions of fentanyl by specific individuals among the defendants.

The lead defendant, Juan Carlos Ortiz (also known as “JC,” age 28, of Springfield, Massachusetts), is already in federal custody following his arrest on a prior federal drug case on August 5. The other defendants—Clair Deslandes (64, Island Pond), Jeremy Allin (also known as “OG,” 51, Lunenburg), Hayley McDonald (25, Derby), Margaret Radford (53, Newport Center), Mary Rhodes (45, North Troy), Loretta Poquette (47, Norton), Ronald Braun (43, Lowell), Jessica Ward (44, Lowell), and Angela Birk (41, Newport)—will appear before the United States District Court for arraignment following their arrests in the case.

If convicted of the charged offenses, the defendants would each face a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment and up to a $1 million fine.

Categories: Drugs and Crime

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