Around New England

Dominican Former Baseball Prospect Sentenced In Fentanyl Trafficking Conspiracy

June 1, 2024

A Lawrence resident who was once a pitching prospect for the Houston Astros received a federal prison sentence in Boston on Thursday for his role in a fentanyl trafficking conspiracy.

Fredis Manuel Guerrero Guzman, 28, received a 21-month prison sentence plus two years of supervised release, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts.

Originally from the Dominican Republic, Guzman is one of 13 boys and one girl, according to the defendant’s sentencing memorandum dated Sunday, May 26. He was particularly close to his sister, it states.

He came to the United States on a visa provided by the Astros. He played rookie-level ball in both the Dominican Summer League and the Gulf Coast League in Florida in 2017 and 2018, according to Baseball-Reference.com.

The sentencing memo paints a sad picture:

 

Mr. Guzman was a young person with profound promise, and who had worked every day since childhood to advance his dream of coming to America to play baseball. Just when that dream was starting to pay off – with a visa and a contract with the Houston Astros in hand, his sister was murdered, and found chained to two cinder blocks at the bottom of a lake. From this moment on everything in his young life spiraled out of control, leading to deep depression, loss of his baseball contract, a severe opiate addiction, homelessness, and his eventual choice to sell drugs to support his addiction. 

 

Guzman pleaded guilty “to one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl and 100 grams or more of a fentanyl analogue; one count of distribution and possession with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl; and aiding and abetting,” in March 2024, the U.S. Attorney’s press release states.

A federal grand jury indicted Guzman along with Melvin Antonio Perez Medina and Fraily Rodriguez Morillo in November 2022.

From March 2022 to August 2022, Guzman, Morillo, and Medina conspired to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 400 grams of fentanyl and more than 100 grams of fentanyl analogue in Lawrence, Woburn, Wilmington, and Andover.

In March 2022, the men met with a cooperating witness to negotiate future drug deals. After that, the men distributed 50 grams of fentanyl to a witness in April 2022.

In July 2022, they distributed about 130 grams of fentanyl to a cooperating witness once, plus more than 560 grams of a fentanyl and fentanyl analogue mixture to cooperating witnesses another time.

Perez Medina was arrested and found to be in possession of nearly 5 pounds of a mixture containing fentanyl hidden inside of a cereal box in August 2022.

On January 18, 2024, Perez Medina was sentenced to 64 months in prison and three years of supervised release, after pleading guilty to his role in the conspiracy. Morillo pleaded guilty in February and is scheduled to be sentenced next week.

 

Fredis Manuel Guerrero Guzman
Source: Dedendant’s sentencing memorandum in United States v. Guzman, Sunday, May 26, 2024

 

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