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City woman sentenced to 3 years, 5 months; Pleaded guilty in Sept. to crack distribution.

Byline: Lee Hammel

WORCESTER - A Worcester woman arrested last year with alleged gang leader William "Papa"Guivas was sentenced yesterday in U.S. District Court to 3 years and 5 months in prison.

Nancy Rivera-Castillo, 27, also was sentenced to 3 years of supervision after release from prison and a $300 special assessment by Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV. Her sentence follows her guilty plea Sept. 30 to conspiracy to distribute at least 50 grams of crack cocaine from March to November 2007, distribution of at least 50 grams of crack cocaine Oct. 22, 2007; and conspiracy to distribute at least 500 grams of cocaine from March to November 2007.

She is the first of the eight defendants to be sentenced who were arrested Nov.16, 2007, and arraigned in federal court. The cases of nine other defendants arrested after the 11-month investigated coded "Operation Seven Hills" went to state court in Worcester.

The case involved alleged mid- and top-level drug dealers associated with Mr. Guivas, the alleged leader of the Great Brook Valley Outlaws gang, law enforcement officials said. The sweep involved federal agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, state police and Worcester and Oxford police.

Police seized drugs, money, handguns, three vehicles and two speedboats. Police chief Gary J. Gemme said at the time "it takes down a major organization in the city of Worcester and, we suspect, has been involved in some violent crimes."

In sentencing Ms. Rivera-Castillo to 41 months in prison, Judge Saylor departed from advisory sentencing guidelines calling for 46 to 57 months. Defense lawyer Carlos J. Dominguez of Boston argued that she had made a single delivery of 54.3 grams of crack cocaine.

He called her "merely a mule" who was under the supervision and control of Mr. Guivas. Mr. Dominguez argued that she was not an active participant in the drug conspiracy.

Ms. Rivera-Castillo also said that her parents were drug dealers and that she was shuffled off to live with relatives from the time she was 2 years old and suffered physical abuse at the hands of girlfriends of her grandfather and uncle. The lawyer said she acknowledges that she let drugs take over her life and that she is unable to get free of them by herself.

Judge Saylor also recommended that Ms. Rivera-Castillo, who has been in prison since her guilty plea, be incarcerated as close as possible to her 7-year-old son and mother in New York City and that she participate in a 500-hour drug rehabilitation program in prison.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher F. Bator.
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Title Annotation:LOCAL NEWS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Dec 24, 2008
Words:443
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