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Lynn Man Handed Hefty Sentence For Selling Drugs In Overdose Death

A Lynn man has been sentenced to over 12 years in prison and four years probation on drug distribution charges connected to the overdose death of a Melrose woman. He was also ordered to pay her funeral expenses.

Federal prosecutors asked for a significantly longer prison sentence than sentencing guidelines recommend, saying that 27-year-old Yeffry Reynoso's crimes directly contributed to the opioid epidemic in Massachusetts.

Reynoso pleaded guilty to drug distribution and conspiracy charges and faced a maximum sentence of five years in prison. But the Massachusetts U.S. attorney's office asked for a 14-year sentence — calling Reynoso a callous drug dealer who supplied fentanyl-laced heroin to the Melrose woman. The drug led to her fatal overdose about two years ago, the day after she left an addiction treatment program.

Prosecutors say the woman called Reynoso after a clinic would not give her methadone because she was late for her appointment. They also say a friend of the woman's told Reynoso not to sell her drugs because her tolerance would be low, as she had just left rehab. He was ultimately sentenced to 150 months.

Prosecutors cited several cases where prison sentences are longer than sentencing guidelines recommend and said a tough sentence could act as a deterrent.

"The personal devastation that Reynoso caused calls for a sentence that may deter others from engaging in such dangerous behavior," the U.S. attorney's sentencing memorandum says. "This recommended increase in sentence is consistent both with the manner in which the guidelines treat other criminal conduct that results in death and the manner in which other courts have treated defendants whose drug sales have contributed to the death of another."

Although Reynoso did not face charges in the woman's death, prosecutors also asked that he pay her family more than $4,700 for her funeral expenses. They also asked that he be placed on four years of supervised probation after his prison sentence is complete.

Reynoso’s attorneys argued that their client is a father of two and has no criminal record. They say he has been working as a dental assistant for more than four years and is trying to support his family.

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Deborah Becker Twitter Host/Reporter
Deborah Becker is a senior correspondent and host at WBUR. Her reporting focuses on mental health, criminal justice and education.

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