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

2 replies »

  1. So this “ring” is really just one supplier/dealer and a bunch of local addicts? Got it.

    • Doesn’t matter, still illegal to sell drugs. Fentanyl is extremely dangerous. It’s still considered a drug ring because of all the counties involved. One of the people involved was around my step son quite a bit because she’s his step nonnie and this poor child has been through the ringer. On top of being abused and mentally tortured he was having to deal with drug addicts coming in and out of his home and god only knows who he was subjected to be around as Loretta states she always has my step son with her because she didn’t trust the mother and her own son with him. DCF has since removed him from their care. I hope they all get exactly what they deserve and don’t just get a slap on the hand.