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Lawmen detail how they caught up with Mass. fentanyl dealer

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From left, Viterbo Enrique-Minaya and at Tues. press conference Rochester Police Chief Paul Toussaint, Chief Deputy Joseph T. McGivern, N.H. AG Gordon MacDonald, DEA's Jon C. Delena and Jesse O'Neil of AG's office. (Rochester Voice photo)

ROCHESTER - When Viterbo Enrique-Minaya walks out of a Massachusetts state prison after serving a three-year prison stint for drug trafficking he'll get a little something extra besides his watch and wallet.

That's because Rochester Police will be waiting at the door with a free ride to the Rochester Police Department where he'll be booked on sale/dispensing of a controlled drug, death resulting for his part in the death of a Rochester father of two who died a year ago of a fentanyl overdose.

Police say Viterbo Enrique-Minaya, 31, of 46 Washington St., Lawrence, Mass., supplied the drugs to Amber Nicholson, 34, formerly of Milton and Rochester, who sold them to Brandon Laurion of Rochester and his girlfriend on Oct. 30, 2016.

New Hampshire Attorney General Gordon MacDonald at a press conference at City Hall on Tuesday morning said this would be the first time the state has moved to prosecute an out-of-state drug dealer for a New Hampshire overdose death.

"This is the first time we've been able to bring these charges," MacDonald said. "The message is if you deal drugs from Massachusetts to New Hampshire you will be held accountable."

MacDonald said the heroin crisis has not slowed down, and Rochester Police Chief Paul Toussaint had the local numbers to back it up: 19 last year including Laurion and 16 already this year.

Jon C. Delena, a federal agent with DEA, said the scourge of heroin and fentanyl overdoses is a universal problem in this country and begs a cooperative effort between federal, state, county and local law enforcement.

"This is impacting us in a devastating way and sees no boundaries," Delena said.

Getting to Minaya took a leviathan effort by lawmen working across state lines and with the feds to help develop their case and provide undercover agents.

Central to the effort was the arrest and prosecution of Nicholson who provided crucial details and even accompanied undercover DEA agents to Lawrence to set up controlled buys with the Lawrence drug dealer, who often employed "runners" to deliver the drugs to his customers.

In October of 2016 Nicholson, in an effort to reduce her penalties on several different drug charges, began traveling with DEA undercover agents to Lawrence for buys with Minaya.

According to an affidavit filed with the arrest complaint, "On several occasions DEA and Massachusetts State Police personnel utilized Amber and an undercover DEA special agent ("theUC") to conduct controlled fentanyl purchases from Minaya."

Three controlled buy were carried out in October and one in November, culminating in a Nov. 3 raid at Minaya's second floor room at 46 Washington Street during which he was arrested for sale of controlled drugs.

Using Nicholson's statements, along with those of Robert Brochu, 32, of Berwick, alleged to have gone with Laurion, Quint and Nicholson to Lawrence to get the fentanyl that ultimately killed Laurion; and Laurion's girlfriend, Sarah Quint, 29, of 16 Pleasant St., Dover, lawmen were soon able to build their case that it was indeed, Minaya's fentanyl that claimed the Rochester man's life.

Nicholson has already pleaded guilty to charges in Laurion's death, while Brochu and Quint have yet to go to trial.

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