Trinitarios gang member working in Lawrence space sentenced to 11 years for gun trafficking, fentanyl

A Trinitarios street gang member caught up in a November 2019 law enforcement sweep of the Greater Lawrence area will serve 11 years behind bars for his role in trafficking in arms, ammunition, cocaine and fentanyl.

Arismendy “Flow” Gil-Padilla, 32, of Methuen, was sentenced Thursday in federal court in Boston by Judge Denise J. Casper to 132 months, or 11 years, followed by six years of supervised release.

Gil-Padilla pleaded guilty to two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm, two counts of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of cocaine, and one count of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of 40 grams or more of fentanyl and cocaine .

On November 15, 2019, more than 70 federal, state and local law enforcement officers arrested 32 different people — 18 of whom were associated or allegedly associated with the Trinitarios gang — in the Greater Lawrence area, of which Gil-Padilla was one. Eleven faced federal charges like Gil-Padilla, while the remaining were charged at the state level, according to the Department of Justice.

Law enforcement took 79 guns, including assault weapons, that morning.

Between April and August 2018, Gil-Padilla sold guns and drugs to people cooperating with law enforcement in an investigation into the street gang, according to the government’s sentencing memo. During that time, the feds said he sold their cooperating witnesses 16 guns, four of which had been reported stolen, ammunition and drugs.

The five counts he pleaded guilty to were from three separate controlled buys in June, July and August of that time period, in which he sold nine guns — one of which had previously been reported stolen — ammunition, 48.7 grams of fentanyl and 139.7 grams of cocaine hydrochloride, according to the memo. The whole interaction, from the planning to the meet, was recorded either by audio or by video or both.

He made good profit, with the feds saying he got $1,800 for two handguns and 55.7 grams of cocaine hydrochloride for another $1,800.

Gil-Padilla was already barred from possessing guns and ammo from a 2014 drug dealing conviction.

The prosecutors argue in their memo that “most gang-related murders and felonies involve illegal guns,” like the ones Gil-Padilla peddled, and that “illegal guns circulating among high-risk networks present a threat to the security and well-being of urban neighborhoods” and works to shape “rates of deadly violence in American cities.”

The 11-year sentence falls toward the lower end of the 10 to 15 years mandatory sentencing for plea deals. His defense argued in his own memo that he should get the minimum, not least because he is the father to a 4-year-old boy.

“Prior to his arrest for the instant offense, the defendant saw his son regularly and provided voluntary child support as needed,” the attorneys wrote, adding that the child’s mother wrote in a letter that he was “very much a factor in his child’s life .”

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