(STL.News) – A Fitchburg man was convicted today of trafficking fentanyl following a bench trial.
Sebastian Batista, 26, was convicted of one count of possession with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl. U.S. District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodlock scheduled sentencing for March 4, 2021.
The court heard evidence that on Feb. 28, 2019, Batista participated in multiple phone calls in which he agreed to sell 200 grams of fentanyl to a cooperating witness in a residential area of Waltham. Later that night, Batista arrived at the meeting location and was arrested by law enforcement officers. Officers searched Batista’s vehicle and found approximately 200 grams of fentanyl in plastic wrapping underneath the driver’s seat.
The charge of possession with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and up to 40 years in prison, at least four years of supervised release and a fine of up to $5 million. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Field Division made the announcement today. Valuable assistance was provided by the Waltham Police Department and the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen W. Hassink of Lelling’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit is prosecuting the case.