WORCESTER - Two men pleaded guilty on drug distribution charges in federal court in Worcester on Friday. The investigation that led to their arrest has now led to 17 individuals being found or pleading guilty.
As This Week in Worcester previously reported, the 15th individual pleaded guilty on March 3.
Ivan Torres, 32, of Fitchburg, and Abel Rodriguez Rivera, 35, of Ponce, Puerto Rico, each pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 280 grams or more of cocaine base, and 500 grams or more of cocaine. Judge Timothy Hillman scheduled sentencing for Sept. 7.
According to federal prosecutors, a fatal fentanyl overdose in September 2018 led to an investigation into a drug trafficking organization in the Fitchburg area. Starting in July 2019, controlled purchases and intercepted communications led investigators to believe Torres and Rivera were both cocaine dealers
During the investigation, over 1.8 kilograms of a heroin/fentanyl mixture, over 3.6 kilograms of cocaine, over 50 grams of crack cocaine, a stolen, loaded handgun, drug manufacturing equipment and over $376,000 in U.S. currency were seized.