New Bedford man pleads guilty to distributing fentanyl

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) – A New Bedford man pleaded guilty in federal court on Monday to distributing fentanyl.

Willy Baez, 24, pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl. U.S. Senior District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodlock deferred acceptance of the plea until the sentencing hearing, which he scheduled for Febuary 1, 2018.

Fentanyl is an extremely dangerous narcotic with high risk for addiction and dependence. The CDC says fentanyl is 50 times stronger than heroin, and the illegal use of the opiate has been on the rise.

On December 21, 2015, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Baez’s apartment, which resulted in the seizure of 49 grams of fentanyl and acetyl fentanyl, as well as drug packaging paraphernalia.

Baez faces up to 20 years in prison, with a minimum of three years and up to a lifetime of supervised release, as well as a fine of up to $1 million.