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Revere man facing life in prison for involvement in fentanyl operation

  Cesar Rivera, 22, of Revere, was recently arrested and charged with being involved in a “prolific drug trafficking organization” that reportedly manufactured counterfeit Percocet pills laced with fentanyl.

  According to law enforcement officials, it is alleged that a pill press was used to produce up to 15,000 pills per hour. At a value of up to $20 per pill, approximately $300,000 worth of drugs were being generated every 60 minutes.

  The other suspects in the case include Vincent Caruso, 26, of Salem, Laurie Caruso, 51, of Lynn, Ernest Johnson, 33, of Salem and Nicole Benton, 45, of Saugus.

  Rivera is now facing one count of possessing controlled substances with intent to distribute and one count of conspiracy to possess and use a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. If convicted, Rivera could be sentenced to life in prison and be fined $250,000.

  In his seven-page affidavit, FBI Special Agent Craig Harvey said Rivera has no prior convictions, however; there are five cases pending against him.

  Harvey said that in April 2019, Rivera was arrested by Everett Police who responded to ShotSpotter activation. He said police recovered five firearms during their investigation and charged Rivera with the unlawful possession and discharge of a firearm as well as with other violations of state gun laws.

  “I am also aware through the course of this investigation that these five firearms recovered were depicted in a music video entitled “Ten Toes Down” that is believed to have been filmed on the same day of Rivera’s arrest,” said Harvey. “During the course of the music video numerous individuals affiliated with racketeering enterprises known as Epic Nation the Label, the Little Crip Gangsters and Tiny Rascals Gang can be seen holding firearms and the lyrics to the song discuss drug distribution and willingness to commit violence.”

  Harvey said that in September 2019, an arrest warrant was issued for Rivera after he failed to appear in Malden District Court. However, Rivera was apprehended 15 months later in Malden. At the time, four warrants had been issued for his arrest. Harvey also said Rivera was found in possession of a Glock 26 9mm pistol with nine rounds of ammunition, 28 grams of cocaine base, eight grams of fentanyl, seven grams of marijuana and $2,709 in cash.

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