FARMINGTON — A Wilton woman was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Portland for her part in a conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl, a highly addictive opioid, according to court documents.

Andrea Hoffman, 35, pleaded guilty in February to the federal charge. She was sentenced to 18 months in prison and five years of supervised release.

She is one of three co-defendants in the case, including Dennis J. Ayala, 55, of Wilton who also pleaded guilty to the fentanyl charge in February. He is in federal custody awaiting sentencing.

Alberto “Papa” Luis Cruz believed to be 32 when arrested in November, and Patricia “Mama” Pimental 25, both of Lawrence, Massachusetts, are awaiting trial. The four were accused of engaging in the criminal activity from at least March 5 to Aug. 15, 2018.

On May 22, 2018, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency received information that Ayala was arranging the purchase and transportation of a distributable quantity of fentanyl from Massachusetts to Maine. The agency coordinated a traffic stop of Ayala’s acquaintance on Interstate 95 by Maine State Police. Inside the vehicle was 196.9 grams of fentanyl, which the lone occupant told police was being delivered to Ayala, according to court documents.

Investigators arrested Ayala that day. The following morning, not realizing that law enforcement had seized the fentanyl, Ayala contacted Hoffman and asked her to retrieve the fentanyl from his associate, according to the court document.


Hoffman “then engaged in a series of text message communications with the associate in an effort to recover the fentanyl,” according to prosecutors.

According to a sentencing memorandum, while Hoffman has taken responsibility for her participation in the drug conspiracy, “it is her position that her role in the conspiracy was a minor one,” according to the document filed in the federal court system by her attorney, Neal K. Stillman of Portland.

“Her actions were limited to that of a courier,” according to documents. “There is no evidence that she knew the price per gram; she did not orchestrate the transactions; she did not direct or manage anyone; she did not further distribute the drugs; and she did not have contact for the middleman or “Mama” and “Papa.” There is not even evidence to suggest she was compensated for her efforts.”

She has been incarcerated in the Cumberland County Jail in Portland since early December. Since then she has earned a trustee status and “has worked quite hard to address her mental and emotional issues,  which have a played a role in her past drug addiction. The progress she has made at the county jail has been significant and her attitude has been quite positive and consistent with her rehabilitation needs,” Stillman wrote.

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