BURLINGTON — A Springfield, Mass. man who sold heroin to an informant in the parking lot of a Brattleboro pizzeria was sentenced to three years in jail.
With time served, Matthew A. Oquendo, 28, should be out in March 2024. Sentencing documents filed Friday were signed by U.S. District Court Judge Christina Reiss and defense attorney Mark Kaplan in federal court in Burlington.
Oquendo pleaded guilty in September to one count of knowingly and intentionally distributing at least 40 grams of a substance containing fentanyl.
The FBI in Springfield, Mass. had been investigating him in early 2020 and alerted the FBI in Vermont about his drug activities, state court documents. He was “supplying bulk heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine to multiple neighborhood-based street gangs and drug trafficking organizations operating in Western Massachusetts and Vermont,” according tothe 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 on Canal Street 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 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 an FBI agent ultimately 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 and he was eventually taken into custody in nearby woods with help from a State Police K-9.