All Sections

Home | Crime

AG plans to prosecute Mass. man for Rochester drug death

Union Leader Correspondent

October 10. 2017 8:29PM
The New Hampshire Attorney General's office is prosecuting Viterbo Enrique-Minaya of Lawrence, Mass., for allegedly supplying the drugs that killed a Rochester man, even though the sale took place in Massachusetts. (KIMBERLEY HAAS/Correspondent)

ROCHESTER — For the first time, homicide prosecutors are going after an out-of-state drug dealer they say is responsible for supplying a fatal dose of fentanyl.

Brandon Laurion, 30, died of a drug overdose at his Rochester home last Halloween, leaving behind two small children. Several Granite Staters who were involved in the drug purchase have already been charged. Now prosecutors are going after an alleged dealer from Lawrence, Mass.

Attorney General Gordon MacDonald said this is New Hampshire’s first out-of-state pursuit for the charge of “drug distribution, death resulting.”

“Our message to those who think they will avoid New Hampshire consequences by conducting their drug sales beyond our borders is clear: You will be held accountable,” MacDonald said.

The man accused of selling the deadly drugs is Viterbo Enrique-Minaya, 31, formerly of Lawrence, Mass. Enrique-Minaya is also known as Francisco Rodriguez-Benitez. He is currently serving three years on drug charges at the maximum-security prison in Walpole, Mass. He now faces life in prison.

New Hampshire prosecutors said Tuesday that they can try Enrique-Minaya for his alleged involvement in Laurion’s death, even though police say all of his drug-related activities took place in Massachusetts.

“Because the crime touched New Hampshire and because we will have to prove the death happened in New Hampshire, that gives New Hampshire jurisdiction,” said Assistant Attorney General Jesse O’Neill.

According to the affidavit for Enrique-Minaya’s arrest, 34-year-old Amber Nicholson of Rochester admitted to contacting her drug dealer “Tony,” who is Enrique-Minaya, on Oct. 30, 2016. Nicholson told police she rode to Lawrence with Laurion and his girlfriend Sarah Quint. Along for the ride was a relative, Robert Brochu, 33, of Berwick, Maine.

When the foursome got to Lawrence, Nicholson bought drugs from Enrique-Minaya, according to prosecutors. After returning to Rochester, the drugs were split up; Laurion and Quint left.

Nicholson, who has pleaded guilty to her involvement in Laurion’s death, told DEA special agents she had made multiple purchases from Enrique-Minaya over the course of a year.

Police arrested Enrique-Minaya on Nov. 3, 2016.

On June 1, Enrique-Minaya pleaded guilty to the sale of drugs to Nicholson on the four occasions she worked with DEA agents and Massachusetts State Police in the fall of 2016. He also pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate Massachusetts drug laws.

Nicholson is currently serving at least six years in prison for her involvement in Laurion’s death. Brochu’s case is pending.

Laurion’s girlfriend, Sarah Quint, 29, of Dover, who was charged with conspiring to obtain fentanyl and concealing Laurion’s phone, is scheduled for trial in 2018.

General News Courts Crime Rochester

More Headlines