A Massachusetts man who ran a drug distribution ring that brought heroin to Maine and New Hampshire between 2011 and 2013 was sentenced Tuesday in Portland to 12 years in federal prison.

Efrain Urena, 23, of Lawrence, Mass., was at the center of a federal drug trafficking investigation that ultimately led to the indictment of him and 13 others in April 2013, all on charges of conspiracy to distribute heroin, according to court records.

Local dealers would go to Lawrence to buy heroin from Urena, also known as Cheech, on a weekly basis in the beginning of the conspiracy, and more often as time progressed, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Perry in a prosecution document filed in Urena’s case last year.

Investigators found that between Dec. 2, 2012, and Dec. 25, 2012, accused drug dealers from Maine and New Hampshire made six trips to buy a total of more than a kilogram of heroin from Urena and his associates, Perry said in the document. A kilogram is worth about $250,000 in Maine.

Urena pleaded guilty to the heroin conspiracy charge before U.S. District Judge George Z. Singal in federal court in Portland on Oct. 9, 2013.

The judge on Tuesday also sentenced Urena to five years of supervised release upon completion of his prison term.

The investigation also revealed that numerous home burglaries and shoplifting crimes were committed by Urena’s heroin customers in order to pay for the heroin he was supplying, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Scott Dolan can be contacted at 791-6304 or at:

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