BRATTLEBORO — A Springfield, Mass., man who sold 20,000 bags of heroin for $40,000 to an informant in the parking lot of a pizzeria on Canal Street in March has accepted a plea deal and will spend at least five years in prison.
According to court documents, Matthew A. Oquendo, 28, pleaded guilty Monday to one count of knowingly and intentionally distributing at least 40 grams of a substance containing fentanyl.
Oquendo could spend up to 40 years in jail and upon release must serve at least three years under supervision of probation and parole.
The FBI in Springfield, Mass. had been investigating Oquendo earlier this year and alerted the FBI in Vermont about his drug activities, state court documents.
“Oquendo was supplying bulk heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine to multiple neighborhood-based street gangs and drug trafficking organizations operating in Western Massachusetts and Vermont,” state the documents.
The FBI reported the informant had bought about 2,000 bags of suspected heroin/fentanyl from Oquendo in the House of Pizza parking lot in Brattleboro on March 8.
On March 14, Oquendo again sold drugs to the informant in the parking lot but before the transaction was completed he grew suspicious and attempted to chase the informant with his vehicle.
Oquendo, however, was being watched by FBI agents, who attempted to stop Oquendo by driving towards his Chevrolet Traverse with flashing blue and red emergency lights activated. Oquendo did not stop and ultimately, an FBI agent drove his vehicle into the side of the Traverse to stop Oquendo from chasing the informant, according to court documents.
After the collision, Oquendo fled the parking lot in his vehicle with the FBI still pursuing him. Oquendo sped through an intersection and into the on-coming lane at a high rate of speed, causing the FBI to lose sight of the vehicle. But shortly afterward, agents received a tip that the vehicle was pulled into a driveway on Paul’s Road in Guilford. He was eventually taken into custody in nearby woods with help from a State Police K-9.