CONCORD – James Henry, 51, of Nashua, pleaded guilty in federal court to attempted possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, United States Attorney Scott W. Murray announced today.
According to court documents and statements made in court, beginning in or before December of 2017, a drug distribution organization operating in Lawrence, Massachusetts, maintained a series of telephone numbers that were used to receive orders for illegal drugs and facilitate transactions involving those substances. The organization primarily supplied fentanyl in “finger” units of ten grams each, and powder cocaine and cocaine base (“crack”) in either 3.5-gram (eighth-ounce) units or 28-gram (full ounce) units. To distribute its product throughout the northern New England region, the organization relied on a network of sub-distributors from New Hampshire and elsewhere, who would travel to Lawrence to pick up their orders and then redistribute the fentanyl, cocaine, and crack throughout northern New England.
On June 19, 2019, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration arrested individuals involved in running the organization. During the arrests, the DEA seized the telephone used by the organization to arrange drug transactions with its customers. After that, DEA agents used the organization telephone to assume the identity of the organization dispatcher and set up purported drug transactions with the customers who contacted the organization telephone about buying controlled substances from the organization.
On June 25, 2019, Henry contacted the telephone and sought to order quantities of fentanyl and crack. He also provided the type and description of his vehicle. The DEA directed Henry to a parking lot in Nashua. Henry was told that after he arrived, he was to leave the money in the center console and take a walk. Officers then observed Henry’s vehicle arrive and saw Henry leave the vehicle before walking away.
After a few minutes, the DEA texted Henry and told him to return to his vehicle. When Henry did so, officers placed him under arrest and seized the telephone with which they had communicated. Following the arrest, Henry admitted that he had traveled to Nashua to buy “dope and crack.”
Henry is scheduled to be sentenced on October 14, 2020.
“Stopping interstate drug trafficking is a top priority for the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” said U.S. Attorney Murray. “In order to protect public health and safety, we will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to identify and prosecute those who are responsible for distributing illegal drugs in the Granite State.”
This matter was investigated by the DEA, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, with assistance from the Massachusetts State Police, Methuen Police Department, Andover, Massachusetts Police Department, Essex County Sheriff’s Office, New Hampshire State Police, Manchester Police Department, Nashua Police Department, Salem Police Department, Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office, Hudson Police Department, and the Goffstown Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth Aframe.
This case was supported by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). The OCDETF program is a federal multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional task force that supplies supplemental federal funding to federal and state agencies involved in the identification, investigation, and prosecution of major drug trafficking organizations.